Who could possibly be against doing something that would be both good for the environment and improve housing affordability in our biggest cities?
By turning public land devoted to noisy, dangerous and polluting vehicles into social/co-op/rental housing it is possible to put a dent into runaway climate change while improving housing affordability and urbanity.
Radio Canada recently reported on a 14-storey co-op set to be built just behind the Bell Centre on the southern edge of downtown Montréal. The Coopérative Montagne Verte will have 136 units, which will make it the largest housing co-op in a single building in Montreal. Having received a piece of city land, the co-op will be financed in equal measure with public funds and a long-term mortgage. If all goes according to plan, hundreds will gain access to affordable housing in an area with easy access to employment and services by foot, bike and mass transit.
In discussing the barrier to building more co-ops Radio Canada claimed, “the scarcity of land in Montreal is also an important issue.” This is absurd. In fact, one of the city’s principal problems is the abundance of public land devoted to noisy, dangerous and polluting vehicles, which contribute significantly to the climate crisis (40 per cent of Montréal’s greenhouse gas emissions are from transport.)
Near where the Coopérative Montagne Verte will be located, for instance, is a highway that has gobbled up a large swath of the city centre….