Understanding and Assessing Impacts
Climate is a major determinant for the development of cities and it influences the way people live. Several impacts are associated with climate change (heat islands, floods, strong winds, torrential rains and loss of biodiversity) and these require rethinking the development of urban centers. The Air-ou-Vert project was launched in 2017 from the desire to stimulate adaptation to climate change and reduce the harmful effects of heat islands through the greening of communities in the Outaouais. The challenge of climate change presents an opportunity to improve health, safety and quality of living environments. The Air-ou-Vert Program focuses on the benefits resulting from the various ecological, aesthetic, social and economic roles that trees and urban green spaces fulfill. According to the program, trees provide the best performance per square meter by providing shade and a UV filter as a heat island remedy. They also filter dust, they capture CO2, they provide shelter for wildlife and insects, they facilitate the penetration of water into the soil, they reduce the energy costs of buildings and they improve the quality of life of neighborhoods while promoting physical and mental well-being. According to CREDDO, trees remain the best technology to get there with an excellent return benefits-costs.