National Urban Design Awards — 2020 Recipient

Corridor de biodiversité, Arrondissement de Saint-Laurent, Montréal
Montreal,
QC
Award Category: 
National Urban Design Awards
Sustainable Development

Lead Firms: civiliti, LAND Italia, Table Architecture and Biodiversité conseil
Completion: May 2019

Giant powerlines, long identified with monotonous sterile landscapes, will soon hover above flowering meadows, frequented by birds, pollinating insects, small animals, and Montrealers. It is part of a major ecological project, which will see the implementation of a Biodiversity Corridor, from the junction of Cavendish Boulevard and Highway 40 right up to the end of Thimens Boulevard, in the Borough of Saint-Laurent. The new network will connect existing and future green areas along a continuous corridor given over to nature. Saint-Laurent’s Biodiversity Corridor is about reconciling the logic of the city with the logic of life!

Jury Comment(s): 

"The promise of urban design is sustainable development—creating economic, environmental, social and cultural benefits. While this project focuses on the environment, it reflects all “Seven C’s” of urban design: context, character, choice, connections, creativity, custodianship, and collaboration."

"A twenty-year plan to transform a barren utility corridor into biodiversity corridor was developed by a diverse multidisciplinary team. Highly creative, the plan works at a range of scales and across property lines and land uses. The plans, cross-sections and renderings communicate a strong landscape character and high level of amenity."

"Designed for this specific context—St Laurent PQ—the design approach and process could be applied to other utility corridors across Canada."

"A comprehensive scheme convincingly bridging urban planning and site design. The decision to extend an infrastructure redevelopment initiative beyond its original scope—and thus establish a broader neighbourhood planning framework—is commendable. The project also offers a fresh, unusually sophisticated landscape treatment for an infrastructure corridor without attempting to do too much. Its envisioned character is neither too heavy-handed or precious, yet refrains from many of the clichés of similar hydro-corridor reclamations."

"The site detailing of the proposal is also more carefully and precisely articulated than is commonly seen in projects of this type, especially in the articulation of the ground plane and the spatial distribution of plant associations and hydrological conditions. As a result, the ecological logic (and viability) of the proposal appears credible. The presentation succeeds in conveying the subtle nuances of simple landscape intervention (and its evolution over time) without defaulting to generic illustrations of ecological settings or human occupation."

Jury members

Click for full version: 
Philippe - Laheurte Park perspective

PHOTO: civiliti, LAND Italia, Table architecture, Biodiversité Conseil

Poirier Boulevard perspective

PHOTO: civiliti, LAND Italia, Table architecture, Biodiversité Conseil

Cavendish Boulevard, Perspective

PHOTO: civiliti, LAND Italia, Table architecture, Biodiversité Conseil

Cavendish Boulevard, Section

PHOTO: civiliti, LAND Italia, Table architecture, Biodiversité Conseil

Marcel‐Laurin Park, Existing Path through Wooded Area

PHOTO: civiliti, LAND Italia, Table architecture, Biodiversité Conseil

Marcel‐Laurin Park, Section

PHOTO: civiliti, LAND Italia, Table architecture, Biodiversité Conseil