Archive for ◊ November, 2009 ◊

• Thursday, November 19th, 2009

Is your city resilient enough to cope with the upcoming hardships of energy and climate shocks? Are you interested in learning more about how to bring thoughtful and meaningful change to your family, neighborhood and community?

The Resilience Cycle – 5 evenings for positive change – has been organized with this in mind. The first four evenings will include films and discussions centered on topics essential to building resilience in cities: *Food, Housing, Transportation and Community*. The 5th evening will focus on putting together pragmatic local action plans for those wanting to move their neighborhoods and cities towards a more autonomous and self-reliant future.

Learn about the unprecedented challenges of *global energy supply* and *climate change* and *how to prepare* for the inevitable transformation we are all facing. Meet other Montrealers and learn about the positive and stimulating processes already underway in response to these challenges.

Where: *Main Film*, Métro Saint-Laurent, 4067 St-Laurent Blvd., Montreal
When? *Sunday, November 22nd* at 7 p.m.
Theme: Food

Admission free, donations accepted
coffee and tea will be available; bring a mug.

Organized by:

- Post Carbone Montréal
- Montreal Permaculture Guild

The *Resilience Cycle* was organized to sensitize and bring together anyone interested in building a group or movement to help Montreal’s neighbourhoods become more resilient to the future challenges of peak oil and climate change.

This approach was inspired by the international citizen-based Transition movement which began in Ireland and England.


*Everyone is invited to participate* – young, old, rich, poor, healthy, sick, experienced or beginner on the transition movement. All gatherings are open to all, informative, fun and action-oriented. We hope to see you there!

• Tuesday, November 10th, 2009

This is an interesting article to me for several reasons. First it shows how the subjective perception of one form of transportation over another affects one’s feelings about its use, which in turn can affect social norms and attitudes.


New STM Logo

People who use public transportation don’t see the small public contribution they make by not using a car. I would surmise that they prefer to see the glass as half-empty: that they don’t have the financial resources to buy and operate a car, and therefore taking the bus is a “bummer.”

I also assume that most users of public transportation ignore the fact that car ownership is glamorized and heavily promoted in TV, radio and print media as the “best” and “most fun” way to go from point A to point B.

However, I lived in California for 15+ years and had to drive incessantly. No matter what you needed, you had to get in your car and drive several miles. Just visiting a friend was often a full day affair of planning two 45-minute one-way trips. Of course, the popular image of sunny California here in snowy Montreal is that it’s the land of milk and honey. While that may be true in a mythic sense, it is really a vastly over populated and crowded place that is quickly getting trashed like the rest of America.

So, shortly after arriving in Montreal and discovering the convenience and ease of using the bus and metro system, I  sold my car. What a joy it is to be on foot and knowing that I am not fully supporting an unsustainable way of life. The sustainability of the Bus and Metro systems can be debated, but it is surely more sustainable than the happy-motoring myth told to us for the last 80 years by the oil, tire, and auto industries.

Source: Montreal Gazette

It seems like a no-brainer – leaving your car at home and going to school or work by bus is a good move for the planet.

Apparently it’s not clear, even to public-transit users.

When the Société de transport de Montréal met with focus groups to ask users what they did for the environment, most people said things like recycling. But public-transit users, even those who took the métro or bus twice a day five days a week, didn’t see that as a plus for the planet, Denise Vaillancourt, the STM’s head of planning, marketing and communications, told a national public-transit conference yesterday.

The STM saw an opportunity to get people to think about transit in a new way, and increase its ridership, and help to meet Montreal’s goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 20 per cent over 2002 levels by 2012. The agency, which runs Montreal’s bus and métro services, radically changed its approach to attracting new clients: In its marketing campaigns, it started linking public transit to a greener, cleaner planet.

“When we want to differentiate between cars and public transit, it’s clear that public transit is a better choice for the environment,” Vaillancourt said in an interview.

The agency realized that it had a lot of work to do to educate its current and prospective customers about how using public transit can reduce pollution, improve air quality and cut greenhouse gas emissions. It rebranded itself in the spring as a green alternative, and began highlighting its own efforts to operate sustainably – using biodegradable soap to clean buses, recycling fluorescent light bulbs and using new bus driving techniques to save fuel.

Its advertising on bus shelters, the sides of buses and on métro platforms made the environment-transit link – how a bus full of people is the equivalent of taking 50 cars off the road, or that the métro has run on electricity since 1966. The STM also created the website, where people could learn about sustainable travel, and comment on the agency’s environment-related activities.

Category: Transportation  | 3 Comments