Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Lansdowne Live: Monette the environmentalist

[After attending tonight's lengthy Open House and Q&A meeting on Lansdowne Park, I accumulated a lot of handouts and took a lot of notes. I'll try to post as much of the more useful information as I have time tonight, split into separate posts.]

If you've been following the Lansdowne Live issue, you'll know that one of the big controversies is the environmental impact.

Luckily, as Councillor Bob Monette puts it in this recent letter to the Citizen, "This plan has elements for everyone, from the environmentalist to the football fan."

I waited patiently during the open house for Councillor Monette to finish speaking with someone tonight in order to ask him to elaborate on what the Plan has for "the environmentalist", especially since the plan would inevitably attract huge amounts of automobile traffic to access a site that is kilometres away from the nearest rapid transit route. Unfortunately, Monette managed to finish his conversation with the gentleman and escaped at the precise moment I looked away. I literally had to run after him, and at that point figured he just didn't want to talk with me.

I later saw him in a media scrum, expounding the virtues of Lansdowne Live to Radio-Canada:

Perhaps the central environmental issue is how much greenspace does the Lansdowne Live proposal provide? Much of the greenspace is on NCC property. Of the green elements on the Lansdowne site itself, at the centre of the issue is whether the "front lawn," which comprises a good chunk of the site, counts. As you can read in this Citizen article, it is to be a lawn area for most of the time, but on "rare occasions" it will be used for parking, and an expensive substructure will allow it to be able to support cars parked on it. They're no longer proposing Turfstone, but something called "Grass Pave2."

So what is this new Grass Paver?

Councillor Monette was busy, so he couldn't answer the question, but luckily details were provided on the many copies of this high-quality glossy handout, which bears a City of Ottawa/Lansdowne logo. Here's a scanned copy of the full handout:

You can see that it is presented in a format that Monette can understand: they left out any text that might confuse an environmentalist, and they went to extra trouble to colour it in in advance, lest members of the public run out of crayons partway through the consultation session.

(As for Monette, he stormed out of the Q&A session... juicy details to follow.)

- RG>

1 comment:

Steve said...

I'm curious about grasspave. Any details on it? They claim it's good enough for children to play soccer on but I have my doubts. Have you ascertained anything about it?