Decreasing soil permeability over the past few decades due to urban development has led to major issues regarding stormwater and surface runoff management that have been ongoing for several years, putting pressure on aging municipal infrastructures in the City of Montreal. This mineralization has also been known to contribute to urban heat islands that affect city dwellers’ health and quality of life. With climate change, these two phenomena may be exacerbated in the future due to more frequent periods of heavy rainfall, faster snowmelt in the spring and a greater number of heat waves. Scientific research has shown the usefulness of soil permeability and green infrastructures in countering the negative effects of conventional urban infrastructures. That is why Rivière-des-Prairies-Pointe-aux-Trembles decided to follow the guiding principles established in the City of Montreal’s plans for biodiversity, green spaces and climate action once the parking lot at its local arena, the Gilbert-Rodrigue Arena, came to the end of its lifespan and needed to be renovated.
In 2018, suburban borough Rivière-des-Prairies-Pointe-aux-Trembles redesigned the parking lot at the Rodrigue-Gilbert Arena to better manage urban heat islands and stormwater.
This parking lot upgrade is one of the borough’s revitalization goals. The intention of renovating this conventional infrastructure was to have a positive social and environmental impact. The project helped to greatly increase soil permeability, thereby improving stormwater management; it also made the area greener, optimized the use of parking spaces and created safer and user-friendly facilities for pedestrians and other non-motorized users. Also, the local population now has a new outdoor space for public pop-up events like a farmers’ market.