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A Sustainable Lac Megantic


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Check out how McGill students imagined a renewal and the reconstruction of Lac Mégantic, Québec!

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A Sustainable Lac Megantic

  1. 1. a sustainable Lac Mégantic This research project has been generously supported by the RAIC
  2. 2. 2 Executive Summary The rebuild of the town centre following the events of July 2013 provides Lac-Mégantic with the opportunity to collectively imagine a viable and actionable plan to construct the most innovative and sustainable community in Québec and Canada. This document was written with such ambitious goals in mind. The community is resilient, as evidenced by its fulsome and committed response to this extreme and tragic event. This document has been produced with the intention to capitalize on this ethos rooted in the apparent strong sense of community. Its aspirations are to indicate informed principles and best practices that will embody a profound and exemplary resilient built fabric worthy of the community of Lac- Mégantic. It is a considered and holistic approach to reconstruction, promoting economic, social, cultural and environmental sustainability for a singularly innovative, resilient, and prosperous future. To meet contemporary and future challenges, it is imperative that Lac-Mégantic diversifies economically, develops in a vibrant and socially inclusive manner and demonstrates stewardship of its abundant and meaningful environment and context. Through meetings with key stakeholders, engagement with the history and community culture of Lac-Mégantic, and thorough research into the social, economic and ecological context, key principles and strategies have been identified to build upon the existing identity of the town, whilst encouraging innovation and adaptive growth. This work has been produced through the “Sustainable Design” course offered within the McGill University School of Architecture in the Winter term 2015. It is a unique course in that it includes undergraduate and graduate students from a wide range of disciplines, from architecture, urban planning, and geography to philosophy, business, and bio resource engineering, to name a few. Each student has brought their own skill set and contributed their expertise based on this range of disciplines. The following document is intended to provide a framework to the Lac-Mégantic community in which to refer in re-imagining future development and provoke discussion and continued investment in an inclusive, responsible and vibrant future. We are privileged to be a small part of this effort. The opportunity to become involved in the rebuild came to us through Bernard D’arche and Cécile Branco and their proposal for the Centre Magnétique social incubator. As professionals involved in urban design and city building at all scales, it became apparent to us that the social, environmental and economic innovation they proposed at a building level was essential to the re-imagining of the entire town. We have therefore concentrated our efforts in producing a document of practical value for the consideration of the whole community of Lac-Mégantic. There is much work to be done and this document does not portend to hold all of the answers; it is the community that must commit to an appropriate and encompassing path of development and work towards a successful future. We mean to help enable this process as best we can by framing the most pertinent issues and offering a strategic guide based on our own expertise and perception of what Lac-Mégantic can be. executive summary Michael Jemtrud, Associate Professor, McGill University
  3. 3. 3 table of contents executive summary 2 vision and guiding principles 3 purpose and content 4 vision for lac mégantic 8 opportunity for change 13 economic impacts of sustainability 14 social impacts of sustainability 20 resources and energy 23 transportation and movement 29
  4. 4. 4 vision // guiding principles Planning for the reconstruction of the affected downtown area of Lac-Mégantic after the 2013 catastrophe offers a unique opportunity to develop a socially equitable, ecologically sustainable and economically vibrant development strategy that addresses current and future needs. This document proposes a sustainable development strategy focused on the following basic goals: 1 The town’s economy should be developed in line with a common community vision for a sustainable basis of employment, focused on local entrepreneurship, that can address the challenges of the 21st century. Promote a thriving Economy 2 The town should provide the development of affordable residential development and a healthy environment adapted to the needs of families. Encourage social and cultural enrichment and opportunity 3 The town’s economy should be developed in line with a common community vision for a sustainable basis of employment, focused on local entrepreneurship, that can address the challenges of the 21st century. Protect and enhance the environment 4The town should foster accessibility to safe and convenient travel via transit, bicycle, and pedestrian mobility to minimize carbon impacts and foster equitable access to mobility. Improved links with the surrounding economic nodes of Sherbrooke, Quebec City and Montreal will ease the flow of capital and will eventually accelerate development. Improve mobility and transportation
  5. 5. 5 purpose and content Sustainable Development Urban planners, architects and other key stakeholders in the city building process are producing policies aimed at enhancing sustainability and resilience (Bosher, 2014). According to the first published definition of “Sustainable Development,” development is sustainable when it meets the needs of the present without compromising the needs of the future (Brundtland, 1987). Most approaches to sustainability highlight the importance of a careful and holistic consideration of social, economic and environmental responsibility. It has been argued that sustainability, as currently practiced in the built environment, is primarily an exercise in efficiency that relies on technical solutions to solve the problems that the system itself has created (Reed, 2007; Lohmann, 1990). For example, the use of environmental rating systems and other mechanisms of certification for sustainable performance focus on technical solutions to mitigate the damage caused by resource use and extraction. Whiletheparadigmofsustainabilityhighlightswaysto reduce impacts on the environment, the paradigm of resilience emphasizes how communities can better deal with shocks and thus avoid disasters triggered within the environment. Both are increasingly considered the operational foundations for “doing the right thing” and are commonly adopted by design professionals and construction specialists as “off-the-shelf” sets of ethical reasoning. Resilience Holling (1973) defines resilience as “a measure of the persistence of systems and of their ability to absorb change and disturbance and still maintain the same relationships between populations or state variables.”Ecologicalresiliencefocusesontheability to persist and the ability to adapt, acknowledging the possibility of systems to flip into alternative sustainabilitydomainsratherthantoremainatjustone equilibrium (Adger, 2003; Davoudi et al., 2013). [KH1] Similarly, in the field of urban planning, the concept of resilience is defined as the capacity to withstand, respond to, and adapt to shocks and stresses. In this view, risks to cities can be reduced by adaptation to environmental conditions. The location, structure, and operational aspects of cities are the main factors for risk and vulnerability reduction. For example, land use planning can identify the most appropriate areas for safety in sudden case of natural hazards. Similarly, urban infrastructures for water, sanitation, energy, communication and transportation systems play crucial roles in the achievement of resilience enhancement and sustainable development objectives. Global context of sustainability From1992to2012,theUnitedNationsConferenceon Environment and Development (UNCED) developed a list of universally applicable goals for sustainable development that constitute an integrative and indivisible set of global priorities. They are defined as aspirational and general global targets, with each government setting their own national targets that take into account local circumstances. These goals and targets look to integrate economic, social,andenvironmentalaspectsandrecognizekey inter-linkages, achieving sustainable development in all its dimensions. According to the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (2015),
  6. 6. 6 4.Protect the environment In response, the FSDA committed to reducing GHG emissions by 17% below the 2005 baseline levels by 2020. Similarly, the Canadian Minister of Environment issued the Passenger Vehicle and the Light Truck Greenhouse Gas Emission Regulations to creation national vehicular efficiency standards. According to these regulations the average GHG emissions from new vehicles for the 2016 model year will be approximately 25% lower than for vehicles sold in 2008. In order to reduce GHG emission levels and to reduce the severe and unavoidable impacts of climate change, the Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA) developed an aggressive strategyaimingatprovidingsustainedactiontobuild a low-carbon economy and make Canada a world leader in clean electricity generation (Sustainable Development Office Environment Canada, 2010). Provincial Context Quebec’s provincial government is moving forward with the passing of the Sustainable Development Act (Bill 118), a core element of the Sustainable DevelopmentPlanthatthegovernmentpresentedto thepublicinFallof2004.Inordertoguidetheactions of the Public Service the Sustainable Development. Based on the critical understanding of the concepts ofresilienceandsustainabledevelopment,aswellas thevariouscontextualscales,thefollowingchapters discuss potential sustainability strategies within the reconstructionforthetownofLac-Mégantic,Quebec. tTe following sustainable development goals are relevant to the strategy: • Ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all ages. • Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all. • Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, • Full and productive employment and decent work for all. • Build resilient infrastructure, • Promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation. • Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable. • Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts. Federal Context Based on the global goals of sustainable development, the Federal Government of Canada developed the Federal Sustainable Development Acct (FSDA)in2008“…toprovidethelegalframework for developing and implementing a Federal Sustainable Development Strategy that will make environmental decision-making more transparent and accountable to Parliament” (Sustainable Development Office Environment Canada, 2010). In the FDSA, the Government of Canada adopted four major themes that have consistently high priorities: 1. Addressing climate change and air quality 2.Maintaining water quality and availability 3.Shrinking the environmental footprint
  7. 7. 7 Bibliography Adger, W Neil. (2000). Social and ecological resilience: are they related? Progress in human geography, 24(3), 347-364. Adger, W Neil. (2003). Building resilience to promote sustainability. IHDP Update, 2(2003), 1-3. Alexander, David E. (2013). Resilience and disaster risk reduction: an etymological journey. Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences Discussions, 1, 1257-1284. Bosher, Gonzalo Lizarralde Ksenia Chmutina Lee. (2014). Sustainability and resilience in the built environment. geography, 24(3), 347-364. Brundtland, Gro Harlem. (1987). Report of the World Commission on environment and development:” our common future.”: United Nations. Davoudi, Simin, Brooks, Elizabeth, & Mehmood, Abid. (2013). Evolutionary resilience and strategies for climate adaptation. Planning Practice & Research, 28(3), 307-322. Holling, Crawford S. (1973). Resilience and stability of ecological systems. Annual review of ecology and systematics, 4, 1-23. Lohmann, Larry. (1990). Whose common future? The Ecologist, 20(3), 82-84. Reed, Bill. (2007). Shifting from ‘sustainability’to regeneration. Building Research & Information, 35(6), 674-680. Riddell, Robert. (2008). Sustainable urban planning: tipping the balance: John Wiley & Sons. Sen, Amartya. (2011). The idea of justice: Harvard University Press. Sustainable Development Act - Quebec Government, 118, Thirty-Seventh 6 § II (2006). Sustainable Development Office Environment Canada, SDOEC. (2010). PLANNING FOR A SUSTAINABLE FUTURE: A FEDERAL SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY FOR CANADA. Retrieved April 2015 from EN.pdf Soubbotina, Tatyana P. (2004). Beyond economic growth: An introduction to sustainable development: World Bank Publications. United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, UNDESA. (2015). Open Working Group proposal for Sustainable Development Goals. Retrieved April 2015, from https:// Van der Leeuw, Sander E, & Aschan-Leygonie, Chr. (2000). A long-term perspective on resilience in socio-natural systems. System shocks–system resilience, Abisko, Sweden. Weichselgartner, Juergen, & Kelman, Ilan. (2014). Geographies of resilience Challenges and opportunities of a descriptive concept. Progress in Human Geography.
  8. 8. 8 vision for lac mégantic Site Background Located in the Estrie (Eastern Townships) region of Quebec east of the town of Sherbrooke, Lac- Mégantic benefits from an Appalachian setting amid hills and lakes. It boasts a steady industrial economy built on the transformation of wood and granite into value-added finished products. It is also the regional centre of administration for the region of Le Granit. Recent decades have witnessed stagnation in the town’s economy and demographic profile. The wake of the recent catastrophe offers a unique chance to re-envision a prosperous and sustainable collective future Economic History Lac Mégantic’s combination of isolation and economic growth have fostered community pride predicated on successful industries and small- town social cohesion. Complicated by the recent disaster, this collective narrative nonetheless provides a basis for support for the future development of an innovative, resilient economy. Like many smaller Canadian towns, Lac-Mégantic exists due to a large investment in its extraction and manufacturing potential. Having generated significant wealth by from the ownership of sawmills in the St. Lawrence Valley, by 1860 the American- born industrialist John H. Pope looked to invest in a railway to extract the lumber from the virgin forests of the Quebec Appalachians. The top of the Chaudière River at the northern tip of the large Mégantic Lake offered a promising source of mechanical energy at a point convenient to Quebec, Sherbrooke, and Montreal. This was to be the natural site of investment, where the resources of the surrounding region could be collected and transformed by imported workers before being brought to market (Kesteman 1985). Completed in 1879, Pope’s railway from Sherbrooke to Lac-Mégantic became the connecting thread that provided a nourishing flow of people, energy, and capital into the region. La Compagnie Nantaise, a colony of immigrant workers from northern France, built and began operating several sawmills along the western flank of the rail line, fed by a steamship that collected wood from the distant shores of the lake. A multi-nuclear town center quickly grew up along today’s Laval and Frontenac streets. By the 20th century, there was an ever-growing cluster of villages populated by Scots, Canadiens, and French immigrants who supplied the labor power to the extractive operation at low rates of pay. The two largest villages, lying on either side of the river, merged in 1907 into the town of Mégantic. A generation of industrial expansion fostered the conditions to develop a multifaceted, permanent settlement. The large neo-gothic Catholic Church was soon built on Laval Street, symbolically cementing the new layers of social services, education, and collective ritual that enriched what hadbeenapurelyeconomicallyorientedcommunity. Concurrently, the town of Mégantic assumed its identity as the commercial hub of the surrounding region, with shops lining Frontenac Street. Lac Megantic in 1904
  9. 9. 9 For a town built by a railroad, it was a severe blow to the common place narrative. In the wake of the incident, collective soul-searching has led to a new-shared conviction that the town should develop diversified sources of employment. In this sense, the crisis presents an opportunity to address the economic standstill that has prevailed since the 1980s with an innovative response that both strengthens the existing economy while also laying the basis for future diversification and dynamism. . Current Economic Situation Despite the growth of the service sector over the past half-century, manufacturing still represents a slim majority of local jobs, a remarkable Slowed by the Great Depression but fed by the steady stream of rural migrants, the economy of Lac-Mégantic grew at a reasonable rate until the end of the Second World War, when housing construction boomed nationwide and Lac- Mégantic’s wood was in high demand. Meanwhile, rapid changes in Quebec society left their mark on the town’s physical and social landscape. Textile mills, built in the 1950s, added diversity to the town’s industrial base and hired local women en masse. The ever-growing demand for labor in the wake of the Second World War empowered unions to secure better living standards for the working class, and Lac-Mégantic evolved from a working-class to a middle-class blue-collar town. On a province-wide level, the Quiet Revolution of the 1960s precipitated the rapid retreat of the church from public life, to be replaced with secular forms of collectivity and personal identity. Significantly, the advent of contraception and the demise of mass participation in Catholicism reduced the birth rate drastically. Into this newly vacant space flowed the forces of personal consumption and a new plethora of social services provided by the state. In Lac-Mégantic, this development found spatial expression along Laval Street, where large stores, parking lots and motels lie next to the regional hospital and a hulking technical school (polyvalent). Yearsofslowpopulationdeclinebeginningattheend of the 20th century are emblematic of the steep and competitive urban economic hierarchy of globalized Canada. Rural migration no longer benefits any but thelargesttowns;birthratesneverexceedpopulation replacement; and international immigration hardly exists outside the metropolis. While these trends have affected Lac-Mégantic, the town maintained a relatively healthy outlook into the 21st century. The disaster of 2013 struck at the heart of the Lac-Mégantic’s identity and destroying the community’s core along Frontenac Street.
  10. 10. 10 29, 2014. It allowed architects, urban planners, local residents and other key actors in the city- building process to communicate, share, and debate a new architectural signature for the Master Plan of the town. The citizens present at the event wished to re-develop a strong city center that would preserve and enhance the cultural, commercial and residential aspects of the town while creating a beautiful and unique place characterized by its impressive natural features. Lac-Mégantic has the potential to become an innovative place where wellbeing and happiness is felt throughout the development of a sustainable environment for work, culture, and social interactions. A Stakeholder Network in support of innovation In the winter of 2015, a network of regional private- and public-sector actors expressed support for the construction of the Centre Magnétique, an award-winning concept for a center of entrepreneurship designed by students at McGill University. Encompassing the leader of the local technical school, representatives from the granite exception to the wider provincial context. The secondary (manufacturing) sector consists of a diversified base of wood products (primarily particle board and finished furniture), finished granite products, and clothing (Fig. 2). The tertiary, which amounts mostly to retail, entertainment, and tourism, encapsulates a similar number of jobs. The primary sector, accounting for the quarrying of granite as well as for the remnants of extractive forestry, represents a small but significant portion of employment, and one that is especially relevant to industry. Both the particle-board and granite industries are competitive on a wide scale: locally quarried and finished granite has recently been used in large- scale memorials in New York City and Washington, D.C., while the Tafisa wood-processing plant supplies over 10% of North America’s particle board, mostly for the purpose of building cabinets in newly constructed buildings. Several textile factories persevere as well, an almost miraculous circumstance given the province-wide collapse of a once key source of mass employment. Demographics relate a less positive story. Lac- Mégantic’s growth rate has noticeably trailed that of the Granite RCM, L’Estrie, and the province at large. This strongly indicates that the long-term sustainability of the existing economy is imperiled by a lack of growth and dynamism, an observation frequently echoed by the Méganticois with whom we consulted in our research outing in January 2015. Consultation with the Community Following the tragedy of 2013, Lac-Mégantic prioritized public participation and community involvement in redevelopment. Several short-term projects have been implemented in response to the disaster, but long-term decisions are still being debated among the community. The latest charette occurred in the town’s sports centre on November Roundtable discussion hosted by McGill Students and Centre Magnetique
  11. 11. 11 and wood industries, as well as the mayor of the Granite Region, this group repeatedly re-affirmed their support for fostering entrepreneurship as the future direction of the town’s economy. Furthermore, Lac-Mégantic’s industrial strength has fostered the development of many small businesses related to the supply chain of the larger plants. Community pride in these businesses is evident, and is situated within the broader collective economic narrative based on skilled labor and successful, competitive enterprise. An existing development council tied to the regional government and the private sector has helped coordinate funding initiativesfornewbusinesses,supplementingfederal and provincial private-sector development grants. Lac-Mégantic possesses three key traits that will aid its economic repositioning: 1. A persistent manufacturing pole, encompassing several layers of the production chain, competitive on a global scale. 2. A commitment to invest in entrepreneurialism, on the part of several key regional stakeholders to invest in entrepreneurialism and foster innovation 3. A unique opportunity for collective imagination, of a resilient future economy.
  12. 12. 12 Bibliography Centre local de développement de la MRC du Granit. “Le secteur manufacturier: moteur de l’économie de la MRC du Granit.” Accessed March 30, 2015. Centre local de développement de la MRC du Granit. “Une région dynamique: Une économie dy- namique et diversifiée.” Accessed March 30, 2015. Centre local de développement de la MRC du Granit. “Vision – Stratégie 2014-2017: Plan d’action local pour l’économie et l’emploi (PALÉE).” Accessed March 30, 2015. ments/CLDGranit-Strategie2014-2017-public.pdf. Emploi Québec. 2013. “Portrait de l’emploi et du marché du travail.” Estrie. Accessed March 29, 2015. Fournier, Marcel. La colonie nantaise de Lac-Mégantic : Une implantation française au Québec au XIXe siècle. Quebec: Septentrion, 2012. Institut de la statistique du Québec. 2015. “Estimation de la population des régions administratives.” Ac- cessed April 3. htm. Institut de la statistique du Québec. 2015. “Le Granit.” L’Estrie ainsi que ses municipalités régionales de comté (MRC). Accessed April 3. gion_05_00.htm. Kesteman, Jean-Pierre. Histoire de Lac-Mégantic. Lac-Mégantic: Ville de Lac-Mégantic, 1985. Pagé, Lucie. 2013. “Lac-Mégantic: Lucie Pagé nous raconte.” Chatelaine. 10 July. Accessed April 3. Statistics Canada. 2011. “Census Profile: Lac-Mégantic.” Accessed March 21, 2015. http://www12. D&Code1=2430030&Geo2=PR&Code2=24&Data=Count&SearchType=Begins&Search- PR=01&B1=All. Statistics Canada. 2011. “Census Profile: Le Granit.” Accessed March 21, 2015. http://www12.statcan. Geo2=PR&Code2=24&Data=Count&SearchText=le%20granit&SearchType=Begins&Search- PR=01&B1=All&Custom=&TABID=1 Tremblay, Danielle. “Lac-Mégantic: entre montagnes et rivières, une ville se raconte.” Continuité 59 (1994): 38-42. Accessed April 1, ite1054131/108ac.pdf. Ville de Lac-Mégantic. “Historique.” Portrait de la ville. Accessed March 30. http://www.ville.lac-megantic.
  13. 13. 13 This process is covered in the BREEAM Communi- ties technical manual, a planning instrument used by developers, planners, politicians, and communities. BREEAM assesses sustainability at the master-planning level using three steps; 1. Establish principle of de- velopment BREEAM assesses the degree to which the design team under- stands the opportunities to im- prove sustainability that neces- sitate a site-wide response, as presented in a holistic strategy. 2. Determine the layout of the development Includes detailed plans for mo- bility of people through the site and where the buildings and amenities will be located. 3. Designing the details This includes specification and design of landscaping, sustain- able drainage solutions, and transport facilities, as well as the detailed design of the built environment. For the benefit of this sustainability strategy, the plan will focus primarily on Step 1. The BREE- AM Communities standards are embedded in the four main strategy components of this plan: 1. Economic and Social Wellbeing; 2. Resource and Energy; 3. Land Use and Ecology; and 4. Transportation and Movement All but three of the buildings in the downtown core of Lac-Mégantic have either been destroyed or are scheduled for demolition due to contamination. Full decontamination of the affected site will require the extraction and replacement of soil. The events of the 2013 disaster present the choice, or opportunity, to take a new path in re-planning the entire downtown. More than just a new town plan, this alternative path brings the chance to re-think what the city centre could mean for the residents and visitors of Lac-Mégantic. The strategies and plans brought forward in this doc- ument suggest that Lac-Mégantic has the opportunity to reinvent it- self to become a sustainable town and a leader in green building in Quebec and Canada as a whole . Process and Standards In order to realize the sustain- able-development oriented goals and visions, this plan follows the standards of the Building Research Establishment Environmental As- sessment Methodology, more commonly known as BREEAM. BREEAM is the longest-established and most wide- ly-accepted method of assessing, rating, and cer- tifying the sustainability of buildings. It looks to address a wide variety of environmental and sus- tainable issues using a straightforward scoring system. One focal point of BREEAM is to improve, measure, and certify the social, environmental, and economic sustainability of large-scale devel- opment plans through the integration of sustain- able design into the process of master planning. opportunity for change
  14. 14. 14 control pollution, flood risks and temperatures more cost-effectively than mechanical solutions, thus freeing up funding to go towards economic investments or savings for taxpayers (Gore, 2014). Public health also improves when communities invest in Green Infrastructure. Evidence strongly suggests that the quality of outdoor environments is an important factor in encouraging daily exerciseandimprovingmentalhealth(Gore,2014). Economically, this means increased productivity of employees and reduced health care spending Entrepreneurship Cultivating an entrepreneurial spirit is necessary for a creating a sustainable Lac-Mégantic. The structure of the global economy continues to shift away from 20th-century patterns of mass production, full employment, and the exploitation of nature. Instead, the system is moving towards a production system characterized Sustainable development for Lac Mégantic affects more than just environmental resilience or aesthetics; this section demonstrates that sustainable development has tangible economic benefits. First, it will address some salient definitions, then it will move into evidence-based arguments that green infrastructure, social entrepreneurship, and green building methods all have great potential to benefit Lac-Mégantic’s local economy. Terminology When we are discussing economic evidence, it is important to establish a distinction between economic impact (effect on GDP or unemployment rate, whether positive or negative) and economic value (the total effect on the welfare of the individual whether caused by changes to consumption of traded goods, or more intangible things such as the beauty of a landscape). This distinction is key in our discussion of economic impacts, because sustainable development of cities impacts both the community as a whole and adds economic value to the lives of individual citizens. Green infrastructure pays Green Infrastructure (GI) such as street trees, gardens, green roofs, community forests, parks, rivers,canals,andwetlandsallhavevariedeconomic benefits for communities and individual citizens. A 2013 report conducted by Natural England undertook a review of Green Infrastructure’s impact on local economic growth, concluding, “the literature review and the case studies show clearly that investment in green infrastructure can contribute to local economic growth.” The report found that increasing attractiveness of parks resulted in higher property values in proximity and increased visitor spending. Further, GI was found to effectively economic impacts of sustainability The Highline Park in New York increased neigh- borhood property values by 10% (Levene, 2014)
  15. 15. 15 Entrepreneurship helps slow flight of young residents Reviews of challenges faced by small towns in the United States (those that have less than 10,000 residents) have identified demographic factors such as the flight of young residents to cities as a key economic issue (Arzu et. al, 2011). These young residents can be retained if towns create a climate of entrepreneurship and creativity. A 2014 survey found that young adults in Canada (born between 1980 and 1995) are twice as likely as the Canadian average to want to start their own business in the next year. (Leong, 2014) These young entrepreneurs are essentially doing it on their own, as found by a 2014 poll by Inuit Canada: 68% of young entrepreneurs intend to finance their business with personal savings 38% would borrow from the bank 18% would rely on friends and family (Leong, 2014) Entrepreneurship can be sustainable There has been significant growth in the field of Social Entrepreneurship and Social Innovation over the past decade. Entrepreneurial thinking creates much more than new startups and apps. Entrepreneurship empowers individuals to turn their ideas into reality, and many of these people will develop ideas with tangible social and economic benefits; yet for them to do so successfully it is key for them to interact with other sectors. Centres like the MaRS Solutions Lab in Toronto have fostered convergences of innovation from the tech sector, non-profit organizations, and governmental agencies to work on complex social problems related to sustainability. These convergences between disparate sectors working toward a more sustainable community is nothing short of a new paradigm of governance, in which policy creation and social impact are no longer the sole by globalization, individualization of consumer goods, underemployment, and the emergence of global risks, such as climate change (Mayer and Knox, 2010). Within this new economic context, small towns that have only relied on one or two industries (often directly connected to natural resources) are at constant risk of exposure to fluctuations in the global production system which can devastate the economy. Entrepreneurship is a way for small-town economies to engage with the global economy without sacrificing resilience. The traditional approach to small town economic development engages in a process of “smokestack chasing” whereby towns attract industries using costly tax breaks and concessions. This strategy has been characterized as high-risk in this new economic context, because economic benefits are not guaranteed in the long term (Glasmeier, 2000). Entrepreneurship is linked to economic growth In order for Lac-Mégantic to cultivate a resilient and sustainableeconomy,aneweconomicdevelopment approach grounded in entrepreneurialism and small business development should be undertaken. Global reviews have shown that any increase in the rate of entrepreneurship (i.e. number of businesses owned per labour force unit) leads to a lower level of unemployment and higher GDP growth (Thurik and Wennekers, 2004; Bahmania and Galindo, 2012). Small-town entrepreneurs that start businesses may hire employees in the long-term, adding economic value for themselves and others, while positively impacting the local economy. Tech startups that are founded in small-towns might face the pull of relocating to urban centres after initial success, an issue to be contended wiith by maintaining high-quality and affordable facilities.
  16. 16. 16 Entrepreneurship in practice: build a place for collaboration Small-town entrepreneurship is often grounded in a physical location, with local governments, organizations, and entrepreneurs working in the same space supporting each other. The emergent incubator at the Centre Magnétique will provide this place-basedsystemofsupportsandconvergenceof sectors.Researchhasfoundthatratherthanfocusing on regulation and public ownership, governments who wish to encourage entrepreneurship in the 21st century should target the educational or skills development of workers, facilitate the mobility of workers into self-employment, lower administrative burdens, and promote knowledge transfer (Thurik and Wennekers, 2004). All of these functions should occuratLaCentreMagnétique,aswellastheinformal collaboration that occurs when governmental and small-business actors share spaces. responsibility of government, but also encourage a much larger role for individual citizens. In order for convergence to occur, Lac-Mégantic will need new places of production and interaction where different sectors can work toward sustainability Entrepreneurship in practice: build a local production centre The cost of bringing a physical product to market has been vastly reduced over the past few decades by emergent digital fabrication software (CAD systems), and distributed hardware (CNC machines, 3D printers). Makerspaces and Fablabs are publicly- accessible workshops where people can use such tools to create new physical objects. While these have popped up in cities across Quebec, they are mainly used by hobbyists, artisans, and small businesses to fabricate goods to sell in the marketplace. A more powerful open facility with industrial-quality machining and rapid-prototyping would add a distinct differentiating factor to the Lac- Mégantic economy, allowing startups from across Quebec to prototype goods for mass-production Digital fabrication technologies like 3D printing can help entrepreneurs create their ideas Places like the Centre for Social Innovation in Toronto serve as hubs for innovation
  17. 17. 17 one construction method that comes close to achieving net zero energy. By making use of thick insulation, solar heating, and heat exchangers, Passive House construction results in a 90% reduction in energy use (Zeller, 2010). Although passive house has conventionally been used in residential buildings, a variety of commercial and public buildings have also made use of its methods.Forexample,a2,700squarefootPassive House built in Whistler, BC, had an energy bill of $280.00 for the entire year. If the house had been built to CMHC guidelines, the average annual cost would be about $3,000/year (Sichello, 2012). These reduced operating expenses can easily recover the increased capital costs associated with building green. The LEED average for added green construction costs in the United States in 2007 was 7.8% for the highest standard (LEED Platinum) and 1% for the lowest (LEED Silver) (Miller, 2008). Given the innovative nature of Passive House construction, there is a lack of large-sample data on the North American construction costs, but examples of certified Passive House construction in Northern Europe have seen increased costs of only about 6-9%, while Canadian estimates are at about 10% (Passive House, 2014). Even at this estimated 10% construction cost increase, energy savings Sustainable Construction pays Building for energy efficiency boosts the local economy and adds economic value for individuals. Energy efficient commercial buildings in the United States certified by LEED or Energystar have been found to increase resale value (2-17%), have higher rental rates (5.8%-35%), higher occupancy rates (0.9-18%), and higher net operating incomes (5.9%) (Institute for Building Efficiency, 2012). Furthermore, productivitygainshavebeennotedthroughreduced sickdaysresultingfrombetterlightingandventilation. Constructing individual buildings sustainably saves money for businesses and homeowners by greatly reducing operating costs. Energy costs represented about 30% of operating expenses in the typical office building in the United States in 2011 (Eichholtz, 2013). Any reduction in these operating costs helps individuals economically in the long term, although the amount of reduction is dependent on which level of sustainable construction one chooses. In practice: encourage net-zero construction Net-zero energy standard construction has the highest reduction in operating expenses of all green building standards. Passive House is
  18. 18. 18 from a $300,000, 2700 square foot Passive building will recover the added construction cost in approximately 11 years, thereafter resulting in incredible savings. Thus, because of its proven cost savings for buildings, Lac-Mégantic should encourage all new construction to aim for a net-zero energy standard, making use of methods such as Passive House. In its mission to contribute to urban development, BREEAM Communities covers the benefits of sustainable governance and the social and economic wellbeing of complying with a sustainable strategy. Bibliography Assessing the Value of Green Buildings. (2012). In I. f. B. Efficiency (Ed.): Johnson Controls Passive House, FAQ. (2014). Retrieved April 6, 2015, from Arzu, R., Avant, D., Bogoevski, A., Caven, D., Daniel, A., Fisher, C., . . . Nunes, G. (2011). Sustainable Entre- preneurial Economic Development (Summer 2011) IPRO 350. Bahmani, S., Galindo, M.-Á., & Méndez, M. T. (2012). Non-profit organizations, entrepreneurship, social capital and economic growth. Small Business Economics, 38(3), 271-281. Clark, W. W. (2007). Partnerships in creating agile sustainable development communities. Journal of Cleaner Production, 15(3), 294-302. Edwards, B. W., & Naboni, E. (2013). Green buildings pay: Design, productivity and ecology: Routledge. Eichholtz, P., Kok, N., & Quigley, J. M. (2013). The economics of green building. Review of Economics and Statistics, 95(1), 50-63. Eichholtz, P., Kok, N., & Quigley, J. M. (2013). The economics of green building. Review of Economics and Statistics, 95(1), 50-63. Giddings, B., Hopwood, B., & O’brien, G. (2002). Environment, economy and society: fitting them togeth- er into sustainable development. Sustainable Development, 10(4), 187-196. Haapio, A. (2012). Towards sustainable urban communities. Environmental Impact Assessment Review, 32(1), 165-169. Hiremath, R. B., Balachandra, P., Kumar, B., Bansode, S. S., & Murali, J. (2013). Indicator-based urban sus- tainability—a review. Energy for Sustainable Development, 17(6), 555-563. Hitchcock, D. E., & Willard, M. L. (2009). The business guide to sustainability: Practical strategies and tools for organizations: Earthscan. Knox, P., & Mayer, H. (2013). Small town sustainability: Economic, social, and environmental innovation: Walter de Gruyter. Leong, M. (2014). Generation Y: The most entrepreneurial generation ever looks for funding. National Post. Retrieved from tion-y-the-most-entrepreneurial-generation-ever-looks-for-funding Lyons, T. S. (2000). Building social capital for sustainable enterprise development in country towns and regions: successful practices from the United States. Paper presented at the First National Confer- ence on the Future of Australia’s Country Towns, LaTrobe University, Center for Sustainable Regional Communities, Australia. June. Martin, R. L., & Osberg, S. (2007). Social entrepreneurship: The case for definition. Stanford social innova- tion review, 5(2), 28-39. Masutha, M., & Rogerson, C. M. (2014). Small business incubators: An emerging phenomenon in. Urbani izziv(25 (s), S47–S62.
  19. 19. 19 Mayer, H., & Knox, P. (2010). Small-town sustainability: Prospects in the second modernity. European Plan- ning Studies, 18(10), 1545-1565. Miller, N., Spivey, J., & Florance, A. (2008). Does green pay off? Journal of Real Estate Portfolio Manage- ment, 14(4), 385-400. Paul, B. K., & Che, D. (2011). Opportunities and challenges in rebuilding tornado-impacted Greensburg, Kansas as “stronger, better, and greener”. GeoJournal, 76(1), 93-108. Pivo, G., & Fisher, J. (2009). Investment Returns from Responsible Property Investments: Energy Efficient, Transit-Oriented and Urban Regeneration Office Properties in the US from 1998–2007. Responsible Property Investing Center, Boston College, University of Arizona, Benecki Center for Real Estate Studies, and Indiana University, Working Paper WP-08-2, rev. Portney, K. E. (2003). Taking sustainable cities seriously: Economic development, the environment, and quality of life in American cities (Vol. 67): Taylor & Francis. Sichello, B. (2012). Passive House - FAQ. from FAQ.php Sunderland, S. R. a. T. (2014). Microeconomic Evidence for the Benefits of Investment in the Environment 2 (MEBIE2). In N. England (Ed.), Natural England Research Reports. Bristol. Thurik, R., & Wennekers, S. (2004). Entrepreneurship, small business and economic growth. Journal of small business and enterprise development, 11(1), 140-149. Tony Gore, E. O., Will Eadson, Erin Gianferrara, Zara Phang. (2013). Green Infrastructure’s contribution to economic growth: a review. Sheffield Eftec, Natural England. While, A., Jonas, A. E., & Gibbs, D. (2004). The environment and the entrepreneurial city: searching for the urban ‘sustainability; fix’in Manchester and Leeds. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 28(3), 549-569. Zahedi, A., & Otterpohl, R. (2015). Towards Sustainable Development by Creation of Green Social Entre- preneur’s Communities. Procedia CIRP, 26, 196-201.
  20. 20. 20 prior to the accident: in a smaller community like Lac Mégantic, the fact that 30 of the 47 victims of the explosion were celebrating at 1 a.m. at the town’s popular gathering place, a bar called Musi- Café, testifies to the spirit of the community. The bar, which has now been splendidly rebuilt, serves to commemorate the night, and stands as a symbol for recovery and remembrance (http://www.cbc. ca/news/Canada/musi-café-reopening-in-lac- mégantic-a-big-boost-to-town-s-recovery-1.2871511). Lac-Mégantic is also a town with an active calendar of festivals, most of which revolve around a strong local culture of outdoor activities and sportsmanship. For example, la Traversée internationale du Lac Mégantic, a swimming race that takes place in August, attracts swimmers from various countries, and gathers nearby towns and communities for a series of other events and activities around the lake. The summer of the tragedy, the event took place as planned, with a slight change in that visitors were granted free access in order to promote the activity, and create a sort of healing atmosphere for Lac-Mégantic. ( estrie/2013/08/10/001-traversee-lac-megantic.shtml) In proximity to two major provincial parks, Frontenac and Mont-Mégantic, where the most powerful star observatory in North America lies, Lac- Mégantic is an attractive spot for outdoor activities including camping, hiking, hunting, and fishing. The importance of the artificial nature park of Complexe Baie-des-Sables as well as the downtown’s recently- built Centre Sportif, a complex that houses a pool, ball courts, an ice rink, further demonstrates how the community’s relationship with physical activity and team spirit is a core characteristic of the town. As a major building, and one that has remained standing after the accident, the Centre Sportif has become a hub for community activities ranging There are multiple definitions of social sustainability, such as that of the Oxford Institute for Sustainable Development, which sees it as “concerning how individuals, communities and societies live with each other and set out to achieve the objectives of development models which they have chosen for themselves, while also taking into account the physical boundaries of their places and planet earth as a whole” (Colantonio and Dixon, 2012). The organization Social Life provides a more appropriate definition in the report on “Design for Social Sustainability,” stating that social sustainability is “a process for creating sustainable, successful places that promote wellbeing by understanding whatpeopleneedfromtheplacestheyliveandwork.” They go on to state: “social sustainability combines design of the physical realm with design of the social world – infrastructure to support social and cultural life,socialamenities,systemsforcitizenengagement and space for people and places to evolve.” To present the role of social sustainability in the project of Lac Mégantic’s reconstruction, we can hereby look at the ways in which BREEAM Communities places the community at the center of governance for the social wellbeing of a sustainable town. BREEAM Communities identifies “governance” as community involvement in decisions and long- term stewardship of development, accomplished through engaged conversation and consultation, continuous design review, and community management of facilities (BREEAM Communities). In the case of Lac-Mégantic, the tragedy of the accident has encouraged a strong network of community support, paralleled by the involvement of internal and external stakeholders to aid and support the renewal of the community’s downtown. A unique sense of cohesion in the town prevailed social impacts of sustainability
  21. 21. 21 involving local schools, major employers, and existing community groups, and orienting the collective efforts of development toward aspects of the public realm. As such, the social wellbeing of the community rests on efficient governance, as local stakeholders are prioritized as the drivers of local innovation and structural growth. In the perspective of being one of the first projects of the downtown’s reconstruction, the design and thefunctionoftheCentreMagnétiqueistobecome a beam of inspiration for future reconstruction projects and governance patterns. This is further demonstrated by the project’s priority in the agenda of the city’s reconstruction (D’Arche and Branco, 2015). The work of the two business students who originally proposed the project relies on a survey conducted among community members, in which they worked to define what the major needs of the town were. In response to this, the community emphasized the need for a communal and collaborative space, offering a conglomeration of services, from consulting and accounting to printing and professional coaching. Thisdynamicspacewouldthusinspirethecreation of start-ups in the commercial and service industry, offering new opportunities for self-employed workers in the region (Centre Magnétique). The flexibility of the space is key in leading a conversation on governance, as entrepreneurs see the collaborative aspect of the building as an opportunity to create specialized services for the community, such as a central co-op café dedicatedtotheintegrationofdisabledindividuals in the community, and the accessibility for all members of the community to technological tools and material for professional use. The program for the Centre Magnétique also encourages the creation of more intergenerational activity, and opportunities for creativity and innovation, through the involvement of local CEGEP students, start-up entrepreneurs, established public workers and government representatives. from town hall meetings about the downtown’s reconstruction to commemorative events for the tragedy of July 2013 (http://www.ville.lac-megantic. Since 2014, the community of Lac Mégantic has been involved in a collective project, “Réinventer la ville,” which strives to reinvent a plan fitting for this dynamic city and region, and which would benefit the local and regional economies (Réinventer la ville, 2014). In order to direct this project, the city selected a committee for the design and application of the plan, CAMEO (Comité d’aménagement et de mise en oeuvre). This body would also be in charge of supervising the strategy by collecting information on the various projects geared towards the city’s development, conducting consultations with the community, and advising the city on efficient processes and decision-making. Following this approach to reconstruction, the project of the Centre Magnétique is geared towards comprehensive economic planning, responding to the local social and economic needs voiced by involved entrepreneurs in the community. In a paper on Social Sustainability commissioned by the Homes and Communities Agency as part of Future Communities – a partnership program established by the Young Foundation to “explore practical ways in which new housing settlements can succeed as communities where people want to live and work” – the authors evoke the challenges of creating sustainable communities that are adaptable to current situations of population growth, migration and climate change (Woodcraft et al., 2012). Highlighting what European new towns have defined as necessary conditions in order to flourish, the document points to social infrastructure – schools, shops, neighborhood parks, community groups and local transport – as the basic needs for growth in new communities. Given that the case of Lac Mégantic deals with an existing community, it is important to base these structures on the existing systems in place,
  22. 22. 22 spirit of innovation, thus representing physically the a vision for a sustainable Lac-Mégantic. BREEAM Communities identifies social and economic wellbeing as that which comprehends health, a striving local economy, and a balanced definition of social health. Within this optic the Centre Magnétique stands as a proverbial first stone in the sustainable reconstruction of Lac Mégantic’s downtown. Relying on alternative sources of energy and focusing on the possibilities for creating and animating efficient collective spaces for the community demonstrates the efforts to make use of the public realm and involve the population to enhanceanddiversifylocalemployment,createmore of a social mix within the population, and present the ecological and economic value to rebuilding green . Bibliography D’Arche, Bernard and Cécile Branco. Centre Magnétique. Facebook Page. Web. 6 April 2015. “Centre Sportif.” Ville Lac Mégantic. 2014. Web. 15 April 2015. Colantonio, A. and Dixon, T. “Measuring Socially Sustainable Urban Regeneration in Europe (Oxford Brookes University: Oxford Institute for Sustainable Development, 2012) “Governance.” BREEAM Communities. Presentation by Helen Pineo. PPT. D’Arche, Bernard and Cécile Branco. “Innovation2 en 5 phrases.” Compte-Rendu d’Innovation2. Janvier 2015. Print. Reinventer la ville. October 2014. Print. Rousseau, Marie-Hélène. “Lac Mégantic : la traversée, malgré la tragédie.” Radio Canada avec La Presse Canadienne. 10 August 2013. Seminoff, Corinne. “Musi-café reopening in Lac Mégantic a big boost to town’s recovery.” CBC News Canada. 15 December 2014. Web. “The Centre.” Centre Magnétique. Web. 6 April 2015. During a trip to Montreal organized by the Centre Magnétique team, community members from the town visited various collaborative spaces in the city, picking up details to inspire the development of the project in Lac Mégantic. The link between entrepreneurial societies and the wellbeing of the city is central in measuring the impacts of start-up incubators and co-working spaces made available to a community. Indeed, as reported in a review posted by the Centre Magnétique, the visit allowed the entrepreneurs to see what collaborative spaces looked like, how they worked, and what one could represent at the heart of Lac Mégantic: a signal to the whole of Quebec that the province contains untapped potential for a startup economy in technology and entrepreneurship (D’Arche and Branco, 2015). Over the weekend, activities and roundtables were held to explore the challenges of coordinating exchange between stakeholders involved in the reconstruction of Lac-Mégantic and in thefutureofthetown’sentrepreneurialdevelopment. A subsequent conversation, which took place at the time that our team of McGill students visited Lac- Mégantic, shed light on ways in which the Centre Magnétique could impact communities beyond its walls, by better connecting with the whole town plan, and with the culture of Lac-Mégantic’s existing community. While some conversations focused on the benefits of co-creation and community building for Lac-Mégantic, others were geared towards defining an ideological image for the Centre Magnétique through the services it would provide for the whole community of Lac-Mégantic. For Lac Mégantic, a collaborative center like the Centre Magnétique would inspire a culture of openness and collective thinking. In terms of physical construction, opting for local materials and alternative sources of energy to supply buildings’ resources, as well as including elements such as green roofs, modular workspaces and communal conference rooms, invigorates the project with the
  23. 23. 23 to 2014 average monthly temperatures of Lac- Mégantic and using the base temperature of 18°C, the annual HDD of Lac-Mégantic is 4846. Comparing this value to HDD values of common PH building locations such as Berlin, 3113, or Vancouver, 3177, we may observe that the level of insulation required for low energy demand in a PH building in Lac-Mégantic is comparatively quite high. The following guidelines are suggested to help achieve the PH energy performance and environmental quality in cold climates in North America (Straube, 2009). Local Materials We recommend sourcing the materials needed for Centre Magnétique from local industries as much as possible, especially considering the local production of particleboard within Lac- Mégantic. Our overall goal is to source 80% of the passive house materials from Canada, with 50% sourced within the province of Quebec. Water Use We will establish an energy strategy using a calculated baseline energy demand from the building and surrounding area; countering this demand with photovoltaic panels, wind power, geothermal sources, and Passive House recommended materials will allow us to significantly reduce on-site energy use. Further basic reduction measures, such as strategic site layout, innovative use of topography, shading, solar orientation, and green roofing, will further reduce energy needs. We aim for a reduction in carbon emissions of approximately 50% relative to the structures that previously occupied the site. We plan to use decentralized energy, combined heat and power systems, and low- or zero-carbon resources and energy Description and Goals Our goal is to establish an energy strategy for successful long-term implementation in Le Centre Magnétique. The use of local resources and efficient materials allows for a near- zero emissions, sustainable structure. In this context, Passive House building standards and BREEAM standards guide our recommendations. With the use of Passive House materials, building envelopes are highly insulated, airtight, and free of thermal bridges. Roof slabs, floor slabs, window frames, and glazing are all well insulated and prevent heat from leaving the building. Airtightness ensures that the ventilation system works as efficiently as possible. A heat recovery ventilation unit allows for heat contained in the exhaust air to be re-used. The interior environment of buildings is thus healthier than typical interior spaces as the ventilation system ensures a regulated air supply. Our goal is to integrate some of the Passive House standards and recommended materials for the Centre Magnétique. Location and Energy Requirements Although the Passive House concept has been implemented for over 20 years, most PH projects have been built in Western Europe, hence there are fewer precedents for PH building in very cold climates. Climate, along with local culture and construction traditions, is a key factor to consider in the construction of a PH building. The heating requirements for a PH building are directly proportional to the number of heating degree days at the location. Heating Degree Days (HDD) quantify the amount of heating that a building needs based on the outside temperature and the ideal interior temperature for human comfort (18°C). According
  24. 24. 24 Wind Energy An average household in Quebec consumes 57GJ of energy per year. The prime location for the wind turbines would be atop of the National Park of Lac- Mégantic. Since it may be impractical to install large wind turbines there, smaller, vertical wind turbines could be considered. Both horizontal and vertical wind turbines would be suitable for Lac-Mégantic, depending on the final location chosen and the average wind speed. For a large and open space, one or two large horizontal wind turbines would not only produce energy but also provide a visual attraction. Smaller, vertical wind turbines are not affected by the direction in which wind blows, and so could be implemented on the outskirts of the city. Due to the smaller size, the cost of maintenance vertical wind turbines would be lower, because each part would be more easily fixed or replaced. However, since vertical wind turbines are not directionally bias, they are less efficient. The town of Lac-Mégantic helped finance a wind energy project built at St. Robert Bellarmin. This site became active last December and contains 12 wind turbines. Wind energy has broad support within the municipality, indicating that the proposal of further projects will likely have strong uptake. Additionally, Lac-Mégantic also opened a call for projects for an energy district, specifying the desire to use renewable resources (Lac-Mégantic: Système d’énergie communautaire, 2015).). Solar Energy Production and Photovoltaic Paneling To achieve a zero net energy building, energy generation must happen in place. We will implement electric solar photovoltaic (PV) panels to accomplish this goal. Several sources were consulted to know approximately how much energy would be produced. From PV Maps Canada (NRCAN, 2014), the average monthly solar irradiance in Sherbrooke energy sources. The typical total energy intensity in a year in commercial buildings in Quebec is 1GJ/m2 /year, equivalent to 278kWh/m2/year (CICES, 2005; SCIEU, 2009). In the residential sector, according to the Energy Trends in Canada from the National Energy Use Database (NEUD), energy intensity is of 208kWh/m2/year, of which 63% is typically used for space heating (163kWh). In comparison, Passive House specifies that for a building to be accredited, it needs to consume only 120kWh/m2/year, from which only 15kWh/m2/year should be used for heating purposes, drastically lowering energy use by minimizing the energy necessary for heating. Geothermal Temperature Regulation Since excavations will inevitably happen in the downtown area, geothermal energy can be easily installed. This technology is familiar to the citizens of Lac-Mégantic as the local CEGEP and the Centre Sportif both use geothermal sources to heat their buildings. Different systems of geothermal energy could be used to provide both heat and electricity; . To supply heat directly to a building, individual systems will be installed in buildings. Heating individual buildings will be relatively small scale and easy to implement. For electricity generation, deeper routes will need to be installed. A geothermal HVAC system is much more economical than a conventional forced-air system given the life cycle of each (McQuiston et al, 1982). A typical forced-air system must be replaced every 13 years, whereas a geothermal compressor must only be replaced once every 35 years. A geothermal heating system essentially does not emit carbon dioxide as a bi-product. Although electricity is needed to power the compressor, Lac-Mégantic’s electrical requirement is supplied with hydro-power, as in the rest of Quebec.
  25. 25. 25 contaminate the site and lay the foundation (nutrient- rich soil) for the building of a strong landscape and ecosystem. Land remediation is in progress at the site and in downtown Lac-Mégantic. In the long- term, we will maintain the landscape and promote biodiversity in the immediate and surrounding area. Ecological resiliency plays a strong role in the strength of the site and its ability to respond to unpredictableeventssuchasanotheroilspill,climate change, natural disaster, etc. We stress the value of ecological resiliency in Lac-Mégantic and consider it to be the core of the land use and ecology strategy. Environmental Management Our goal is to manage the land of the site and surrounding area in a sustainable way to provide the community with a resilient space for future generations. Key to the project is assessing the typology of the land to protect and enhance the existing environment. We will focus on decreasing the vulnerability of environmentally sensitive areas - the lake for example, and contaminated sites from the oil spill - using innovative approaches. When greening the landscape of the site, we will ensure that eutrophication of the lake will be avoided. Additionally, we will implement the use of blue infrastructure for storm water and sewer management, and green infrastructure to clean the air and to produce locally sourced food. Soil Management The soil in the area has been heavily contaminated from the oil spill. Beginning in June 2014, the contaminated soil has been gradually replaced with clean soil. The removed contaminated soil four to five meters deep (around 200 000 tonnes) has been treated with biodegradation technology and moved 116 km West of Lac- Mégantic to a closed mine in Asbestos, Quebec. The soil will be used in a sustainable way at the mine, fertilizing residual materials and waste. (MDDELCC IMars 2015) Further decontamination of soils from the is 122kWh/m2, Solar panels have an efficiency of 14% at standard test conditions, which would produce a monthly value of 17.13kWh/m2. Actual monthly values vary, amounting to 205.6kWh/m2 in the entire year, which is very similar to that of the residential energy demand. Based on a standard relationship between building size and roof area, electricity generated by solar panel accounts for more than half energy consumed by a typical commercial building in Quebec, while producing more than enough for residential purposes. The key point to realize is that these are typical values, not accounting for high- energy efficiency strategies. It was noted that in residences more than 60% of energy consumed is used for space heating (NRCAN, 2011). Therefore, if we minimize that energy by using PH principles, the leftover energy could be easily supplied by solar panels. Land Use and Ecology The short-term need identified by the land use strategy is remediation and decontamination: the contaminated areas will be re-mediated and conserved for long-term health and resiliency. The long-term ecology strategy will have two main focus areas: environmental management, and the protection of valued ecosystem services through ecological resiliency. Through routine land surveying and the construction of blue and green infrastructure, environmental management and conservation goals can be met. Ecological Resiliency Astrong,resilientlandscapecontributestothehealth of the environment and ultimately the health of the community. By pushing environmental initiatives to improve the biodiversity of the area, introduce and maintainnutrient-richsoilreplacingthecontaminated soil, and recycling water, our vision of ecological resiliency can be met. In the short-term we will de-
  26. 26. 26 Biodiversity Through the implementation of green infrastructure within the frame of the building as well as landscaping the surrounding area of the building, we will foster biodiversity in the form of both abundance and evenness of species. Biodiversity is the core to healthy ecosystem function and serves many human services including the provisioning and regulation of the environment as well as providing recreational services. Monitoring the biodiversity levels in the lake will be necessary under the five- and ten-year evaluation plans. (Posey, 1999) Aspartofthesustainablestrategy,assessingspecies richness and evenness in the area surrounding the proposed centre is essential to our goal of ecological resiliency. Biodiversity affects plant productivity, which is important resiliency (Loreau, 2010). By sampling areas in different habitat zones (such as close to the lake, close to residential buildings, and close to transportation infrastructure) we can get an idea of what types of species are living in the area and how abundant they are. We can then return to these areas during our re-evaluation dates to gather data to determine if there is biodiversity gain or loss in the area from the building of the centre. The Shannon Diversity Index will be used to measure species evenness and abundance in the area. Using the formula from Figure 1, and taking the exponent of this value, we can obtain the real number of species in the sampling area. This gives a diversity value or richness value to the environment we sample around the Centre Magnétique. To obtain the relative evenness in this sample of species, we can divide the entropy by the natural logarithm of the total number of species. demolished building sites in the downtown area is in progress. Fall 2015 is the estimated completion date for removal of all contaminated soils. Spring 2017 is the estimated completion of treating the soil to a standard that can be used at the mine in Asbestos.. Lake Management Approximately 100,000 to 200,000 liters of light crude oil spilled into the lake from the derailment. Under the provincial Environmental Quality Act, Quebec ordered Maine & Atlantic Railway, Canadian Pacific, Western Petroleum Co and World Fuel Services Corp. to clean up the crude. During this time, fishing restrictions were put in place extending down the Chaudière River. The oil in the lake regardless of the clean-up efforts will have long-term impacts on the aquatic ecosystems in place. Monitoring the lake, the biodiversity levels and functioning will be essential going forward. Re-Evaluation Plans We envision the land used for Centre Magnétique to be productive for many years to come; we have short-term and long-term plans to re-evaluate the landtoensureenvironmentalstability.Wewillalsodo a preliminary assessment for potential impacts from development to better prepare for future problems.. 1 year, 2 year, 5 year, 10 year Assess soil quality 2 year, 10 year Erosion control 1 year, 2 year Eutrophication assessment in the lake 5 year, 10 year Measure biodiversity index, species richness, species evenness 1 year, 2 year, 5 year Water purity measurements 5 year, 10 year Water table level analysis Table 1: Time intervals for environmental monitoring and interventionsover time
  27. 27. 27 riparian corridors near the lake, and line the streets that lead to the centre with trees. We will activate water through the use of fountains and memorial sculptures.Greywaterirrigation,rainwatercatchment systems, and air-conditioning condensation will aid in the reuse of water. We will divert purified water to the lake through blue infrastructure. Green infrastructure will be constructed to clean the air of emissions. An urban garden can be considered for building occupants, if the occupants agree on its long-term maintenance and health. Planting trees is our strategy for excess water management through strong infiltration uptake. All landscaping should be done without pesticide or fertilizer use to emphasize the importance of a natural landscape. Risks to species A 30-kilometer stretch of the Chaudière River was contaminated with approximately 100,000 litres of the crude oil from the Mégantic lake in 2013. The river provides habitat for the Atlantic Sturgeon, which is designated as a threatened species. Monitoring this threatened species now and in the future will be crucial to its long-term survival at this location. Oil is absorbed into the fatty tissues of marine life and does not disintegrate. Additionally, Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) were found on the surface of the water due to the presence of crude oil. These pollutants poison fish and cause cardiac arrest. Species conservation efforts have been noted, particularly this July, when 5,000 new trout were released into the lake. Further conservation efforts should be implemented. Bird species in the surrounding area of the lake were apparently not affected by the oil spill. Blue and Green Infrastructure The continued conservation of the landscape requires an understanding of the evolving connection of the city with its natural setting. The significance of water as an element of the urban ecosystem has lost its visibility among the city’s amenities. We propose to reintroduce the value of water and implement recycling techniques that will enhance the community and provide an important resource for the landscape. Examples of blue infrastructure that will be implemented include swales and retention ponds to collect storm water run-off and filter water before entering Mégantic Lake. A flood risk assessment should additionally be completed under the BREEAM standard before the aforementioned infrastructure is constructed. We propose a water framework focused on retaining, filtering, activating, reusing and diverting water within the site area and the building. To retain water, we will introduce permeable surface areas in the parking lot and swales near the lake. To filter water, we will implement green rooftops, landscape Figure 2: Economic benefits of green infrastructure over time
  28. 28. 28 Bibliography Balvanera P, Pfisterer AB, Buchmann N, He JS, Nakashizuka T, Raffaelli D, Schmid B (2006) Quantifying the evidence for biodiversity effects on ecosystem functioning and services. Ecol Lett 9:1146-1156 Barbier EB, Baumgartner S, Chopra K, Costello C, Duraiappah A, Hassan R, Kinzig A, Lehman M, Pascual U, Polasky S, Perrings C (2009) The valuation of ecosystem services. Biodiversity, ecosystem functioning, and human wellbeing: an ecological and economic perspective. Oxford University Press, Oxford, p 248-262 BREEAM. New Construction: Non-Domestic Buildings. (n.d.). Retrieved March 24, 2015, from http://www. Cadotte MW, Cardinale BJ, Oakley TH (2008) Evolutionary history and the effect of biodiversity on plant productivity. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 105: 17012-17017 Cardinale BJ, Srivastava DS, Duffy JE, Wright JP, Downing AL, Sankaran M, Jouseau C (2006) Effects of biodiversity on the functioning of trophic groups and ecosystems. Nature 443: 989-992 Economides, Christopher (2014) Green Infrastructure: Sustainable Solutions in 11 Cities across the United States. From Eykelbosh, Angela (2014) Short- and long-term health impacts of marine and terrestrial oil spills. From https:// Fisheries and Oceans Canada (2013). Aquatic Species at Risk in Quebec. From http://www.qc.dfo-mpo. Goldsmith, Ben (2013) Green versus grey infrastructure. infrastructure/ Hassan R, Scholes R, Ash N (2005) Ecosystems and human well-being: current state and trends. Millenium ecosystem assessment, Vol. 1. Island Press, Washington, DC Hill MO (1973) Diversity and evenness: a unifying notation and its consequences. Ecology 54: 427-432 International Passive House Association. Active for more comfort: the Passive House. From http://www. Marquis, Melanie (2013, August 15). Quebec gov’t downplays concerns about Lac-Mégantic pollution. From pollution-1.1409486 McQuiston, F.C., and J.D. Parker. 1982. Heating, Ventilating, and Air Conditioning: Analysis and Design. United States: John Wiley and Sons., Inc.,New York, NY. Petchey OL, Gaston KJ (2002) Functional diversity (FD), species richness and community composition. Ecol Lett 5:402-411 Posey DA (1999) Cultural and spiritual values of biodiversity. Intermediate Technology Publications London Tilman D (1999) The ecological consequences of changes in biodiversity: a search for general principles. Ecology 80: 1455-1474 Yachi S, Loreau M (1999) Biodiversity and ecosystem productivity in a fluctuating environment: the insurance hypothesis. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 96: 1463-1468
  29. 29. 29 transportation are available. Rather than frame the need to reduce car dependency through parking limitations, the discourse should focus on the benefits of having a compact, walkable downtown; if parking areas were concentrated within the periphery of the city, this would allow for more lively pedestrian-oriented streets in the town centre. The relatively small geographic size ofLacMégantic’sdowntowncorealreadyprovides a setting that is conducive to walking, and could be complemented by an electric bus shuttle for residents who are either mobility reduced, or unwilling to walk during unfavourable weather. Cycling Infrastructure Lac Mégantic currently has an extensive cycling path entitled the “Grand Tour du Lac Mégantic” that covers sixty kilometers in length, forming the circumference of the lake. Although this is a valuable form of infrastructure, it is also possible to encourage cycling as a mode of transportation beyond simply a recreational activity. This could be achieved through extending and integrating the cycling network along both the main and secondary road axes within the town, connecting the outlying residential areas with the downtown centre. In order to facilitate this transition to cycling as a more reliable mode for commuting, the town could provide both bike parking facilities as well as bike maintenance stations. Furthermore, encouraging a bicycle culture could have secondary economic benefits, such as the creation of cyclist oriented cafes or bicycle shops. Public Transit Lac Mégantic also provides adapted and public transit through the company Trans-Autonomie, which is largely focused on providing service for mobility-reduced persons. This service requires transportation and movement Given the importance of transportation in everyday life,itisnecessarytoconsiderthemultipledimensions of both individual and communal mobility. Within the context of Lac Mégantic, there is an opportunity to reimagine how thoughtful transportation systems can positively influence the lives of citizens. This requires an open understanding of the implications ofourmovement,consideringboththeinfrastructure and services that already exist within the town, as well as what can be done to move forward. The ultimate goal is to maintain a vibrant and dynamic community, while promoting well-being and reducing the environmental impact of residents. Urban Design and Planning There is an inextricable relationship between the built environment and the ability to provide opportunities for active and public transportation. High density, mixed-use developments, combined with safe and appealing streets, create a framework that induces walking through greater accessibility and connectivity. Supporting this, the provision of cycling infrastructure, such as bicycle paths and bike parking facilities, allow for the opportunity to cycle as a viable mode of transportation. The higher density also implies a greater concentration of people, and therefore a greater potential for communal transportation such as public buses or carpooling. This also highlights the benefits of considering transportation from the initial stages of development, rather than modifying infrastructure over time as needed – by creating a mutually reinforcing relationship between the built environment and the transportation network, there is an opportunity to providealternativeformsoftransitotherthancaruse. Changing individual transportation behaviour is often best approached through a combination of both incentives and disincentives. One of the greatest ways to limit car use is to restrict the amount of parking available for residents, which is only a realistic strategy if alternative forms of
  30. 30. 30 with other regional centres. To begin, Lac Mégantic could improve the private bus services currently being offered by creating direct lines to Sherbrooke, Quebec City, or Montreal. Reducing the amount of time it takes to access Lac Mégantic, especially the Centre Magnétique, is critical for creating a positive business climate for future growth. Likewise, guaranteeingtheabilityforclientsandotherbusiness owners to access the town without necessitating a private vehicle is an important way of ensuring equity within the economic system. This approach could also be complemented by a local ridesharing application that would connect residents who are going to similar destinations; although this is a less formal approach, it equally provides the opportunity to have beneficial interaction within the business community.Eventuallyifthedemandisgreatenough, a commuter train could be introduced to provide a consistent and reliable way of accessing the region. Energy-use and Environmental Impact Since transportation accounts for twenty-five per cent of Canada’s total greenhouse gas emissions (Environment Canada, 2014), it is imperative to provide alternative forms of transportation to car use. The ultimate goal is to reduce both the total amount of Vehicle Kilometres Traveled (VKT), the amount of fossil-fuel energy consumed to achieve the desired mobility of the local population, and the emissions produced as a result of this mobility. On average, passenger cars emit 368.4g of Carbon Dioxide into the atmosphere for every mile driven (EPA, 2008). By providing alternative transport options, such as cycling and pedestrian networks, public transportation services, carpooling and lift sharing clubs, it is possible to minimize the amount of energy consumed and emissions produced from individual travel. Furthermore, the provision of these alternatives is most beneficial if they are used to their full capacity – promoting and advertising alternative forms of transport is equally important, given that the change in behaviour ultimately has to come from both the local population and the municipality. that users reserve their spot twenty-four hours in advance, and the bus route itself bypasses several important locations. Again, there is a need to shift the community’s perception of public transit as an option for the disadvantaged population towards something that is more attractive to the general public as a whole. The city could expand its public transit network to include a dedicated bus schedule that does not require reservations, and provides more frequent and abundant stops. For example, the bus network could be connected to local industries such as Bestar or Tafisa, where employees could become less reliant on their personal vehicles to get to work. Similarly, Lac Mégantic could also provide monetary incentives through these industries to promote carpooling – the ultimate goal being to reduce the environmental impact of the local population’s mobility, while also engaging in forms of transit that foster a communal spirit. Social and Physical Well-being OneofthegreatestchallengeswithinLacMéganticis to shift the public’s perception of both active and public transit. It is important to make the connection between these alternative forms of transportation and the benefits that will be experienced by users. For example, both walking and cycling promote a healthy lifestyle by indirectly providing opportunities to exercise. Likewise, both active and public transit favor social interaction, rather than isolation. In order for these benefits to be fully internalized by residents, Lac Mégantic could introduce programs that promote active and public transit within the educational system, as well as advertise the benefits of reduced car use to the general public. Economic Accessibility Given the economic impetus of redeveloping Lac Mégantic, it is important to provide a network that supports accessibility, both for local businesses as well as for individual entrepreneurs. For this aspect of transportation, the municipality could implement a long-term strategy to foster a greater connection
  31. 31. 31 Bibliography Canada. Environment Canada. Greenhouse Gas Emissions by Economic Sector. 2014. Web. <https://>. United States. Environmental Protection Agency. Average Annual Emissions and Fuel Consumption for Gasoline-Fueled Passenger Cars and Light Trucks. 2008. Web. < er/420f08024.pdf>