Infinite Ecologies: Creating a biodiversity corridor in Saint-Laurent

Infinite Ecologies: Creating a biodiversity corridor in Saint-Laurent

In 2017, the Borough of Saint-Laurent undertook an integrative, innovative competition to create biodiversity corridors. Creating these corridors will connect the natural areas and other green spaces currently fragmented by development, and eventually give citizens access to historic, educational and recreational pathways.

With an industrial park covering about 70% of its territory, the Borough of Saint-Laurent has some of the largest urban heat islands in the Montreal region. Habitats favourable to biodiversity are fragmented by barriers such as highways 40 and 13, large boulevards such as Cavendish, Henri-Bourassa and Thimens, as well as residential, commercial and industrial developments.

Development of the corridor will connect natural habitats on private and public lands, medians and green spaces along three main lines of action: wildlife habitats, greening and citizen pathways. To that end, Brown and Storey Architects Inc. developed a master plan to establish a vision for a biodiversity corridor in the Borough of Saint-Laurent.

Our project creates a systematic language of linear patterns – matrices – and typological content – generators – that can be inserted into the secteurs of the Borough Saint-Laurent to establish the dedicated biodiversity corridor and consolidate the present archipelago of open spaces and connect them to their context in ways that transform today’s zones of industry, residential, retail and cultural infrastructure.

As an approach to varying conditions of the five secteurs, this practice provides us with a repertoire of elements that will embed biotypes and recalibrated urban typologies in border spaces and border linkages in a co-evolving network revitalizing the present context of Borough Saint-Laurent – a new network that is both generative and iterative.

Final Competition Submission Panel