Saturday, 14 March 2009

Saturday Photo: Sense and Sustainability

This is the frontispiece to my book The Walkable City, taken late last summer. It seems to me appropriate today as the days grow longer and the seasons of green, growing things draw closer.

But also I'm taking part in a conference this morning organized by the English Graduate Students' Society at the Université de Montréal on the theme of Sense and Sustainability. About 30 academics, future academics, and writers of various stripes will be taking part. I'm going to be reading from The Walkable City--or at least an excerpt taken from the first couple of chapters. This photo will be the first of several I'll show to illustrate the talk: a walkable city is by definition immensely more sustainable than one where the automobile is the default means of transportation.

5 comments:

penlan said...

Where was this picture taken exactly? I'm assuming in Montreal but exactly where? I really like it.

Mary Soderstrom said...

It was taken on the eastern side of Park avenue going down toward Pine. If you haven't been in Montreal in the last couple of years, you'll remember that there was an underpass at the interesecton which has now been opened up.

Mary

lagatta à montréal said...

Yes, although the intersection remains rather too bare (see criticisms in Spacing Montréal) it is SUCH an improvement over the échangeur. Opening it up also removed the obstacle to putting in a tramline on one of the busiest STM routes.

The low building at centre-right houses the NGO Alternatives, and the Urban Ecology Centre is also very nearby, on Parc.

Hope the talk went well; I'd have liked to attend, but had a lot of work to get done.

Mary Soderstrom said...

Thanks for the good wishes, Maria.

I have my doubts about the tram though. Where would it go when it got to the corner of Park and Mont Roayl?
M

lagatta à Montréal said...

Up avenue du Parc, of course, instead of the 80!

In an ideal world, it would swing east a bit, closer to my house (in Little Italy) but it is the 80 line that is utterly saturated. And Parc is considerably wider than St-Larent, up to Jean-Talon.

Trams are wonderful. Not just in Amsterdam, where I have taken several lines well out of the city centre, but even in Toronto. I was attending a conference at OISE and staying with a freind who lives in Etobicoke south, by the lake, The Queen streetcar glides along smoothly, one can read (I get carsick reading on buses).