MONTREAL — The Palais des congrès de Montréal is showcasing Quebec urban farming by way of the Urban Agriculture Lab, it was announced July 28.
This project, which promotes the greening of the roof of the Palais through an experiment in sustainable development, makes it possible to add a second use to 31,500 square feet of roof space.
In collaboration with AU/LAB, a laboratory associated with the Institut des sciences de l’environnement of Universite du Quebec a Montreal (UQAM) and La ligne vert, the Palais is simultaneously launching the most recent phase of the greening of its rooftops, the VERTical project, with 6,000 square feet of space.
This urban farming project is characterized by freestanding vertical structures that make it possible to test various natural and synthetic tarps, to contribute to the fight against heat islands and to increase the density of garden production. Herbs, leafy vegetables, strawberries and edible flowers are on the menu for the first year of experimentation.
The VERTical project has received financial support from the Réseau d’Investissement Social du Québec, the Ministère de l’Agriculture, des Pêcheries et de l’Alimentation du Québec, the Arrondissement de Ville-Marie, the TD Friends of the Environment Foundation, the Caisse d’économie solidaire Desjardins and from PME MTL Centre-Ville.
“The major VERTical project, a first in North America, will be an opportunity to test various technologies and techniques while allowing the Palais to become the principal showcase of vertical farming. It will also enable Montréal to shine at the international level as a destination that is committed to sustainable development,” states Jean-Philippe Vermette, co-founder of AU/LAB, and associate professor at UQAM.
The Urban Agriculture Lab of the Palais now comprises Culti-VERT, the project showcasing green roof technologies and techniques for vegetable gardening in containers that make it possible to grow flowers, plants, fruits and vegetables, including species aimed at protecting the plant heritage as well as hops that will be part of the project to brew a special beer to celebrate Montréal’s 375th anniversary.