Like many cities across North America, Montreal has problems with localized heat islands during the summer, raising the temperature significantly compared with its surroundings. This effect is due to the density of buildings and road network, and not enough green space to absorb the sun’s heat. In addition, with changing and somewhat unpredictable weather conditions due to climate change, an increasing number of cities are beginning to experiment with different forms of urban agriculture. One of the projects in Montreal is a partnership between the Montreal convention centre (le Palais des Congrès de Montréal), the department of urban agricultural research from the university of Quebec at Montreal (AU/LAB at UQAM), Miel Montreal, and La Ligne Verte. This is a true collaborative project to learn what is possible regarding growing food within the confines of a rooftop. The project aims to fulfill several objectives:
- Reduce heat island effect for the neighbouring area;
- Absorb stormwater;
- Produce plants and vegetables for a variety of uses;
- Preserve heirloom seeds from some rarer varieties of plants;
- Demonstrate Montreal’s efforts to become a resilient city in the face of changing weather patterns;
- Provide a “lab” like setting to develop new vertical farming techniques.