Urban forest protections announced by Québec City

Urban forest protections announced by Québec City

Quebec City (Quebec) 6 December 2015 – Québec City has unveiled its plan to protect and enhance the urban forest. The city has committed to increasing from 32% to 35% by 2025 the proportion of land covered by trees, called the index canopy.

The different ways of achieving this goal vary greatly. They include (among others) intensifying the planting of trees by citizens and the by City as well as fighting certain ravageous insects.

The City has identified some areas that are less green and that will be prioritized in planting phases. The Borough of La Cité-Limoilou is presented as the least green with a canopy index of 17%.

In a statement, the mayor of Québec City, Régis Labeaume, speaks of “an ambitious goal that will require significant efforts to keep the existing canopy and increase the number of trees planted.”

Johanne Elsener, president of Québec Arbres, says the plan “is a big step in protecting everyone’s health.”

She welcomes the increased planting and protection goals, but disapproves of the fact that the City did not include the preservation and development of green spaces in urban areas as a goal.

She said many cities in the country transform 12% of their territory into protected areas, which is not foreseen in the plan of Québec.

“We must ensure that there are wooded parks and areas in order to encourage people to get out and exercise, all the while having many benefits on everyone’s health, by decontaminating the air,” says Johanne Elsener.

She also hopes that the City will review its regulations. The president of Québec Arbres believes that developers are too often left to themselves and the trees are the first victims of the situation, she says.

“We must force the developer or architect to sit down with the City and see how we can build the building in question, all the while protecting more trees.”

The Place aux arbres plan in still in the process of consultation. Citizens are invited to vote online about the City’s Paper until January 29th.

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