I've been walking back and forth to work through some of the "Green Lanes" in my neighborhood, and wanted to take you along...
"A green lane is a lane of Montreal renaturalized by local residents, in collaboration with the eco-district of the borough. The project of a green lane is primarily a movement of residents volunteers who want to reclaim the space of their lane and improve their quality of life in urban areas. They include the benefit of improving air quality, reducing ambient noise and combat urban heat islands.
Since 1997, nearly a hundred green lanes have been created and are now part of the Montreal Network. They are so popular that some districts receive dozens of requests for greening each year."
The lanes, or alleys, are located in back of the long rows of apartment buildings that face onto the main streets. So you have two sets of buidings backing up on one another, with small backyard areas and a lane running down the middle. Some of the lanes are large enough for vehicles, but in most of the cases of the designated ruelles vertes, the lanes are mainly for pedestrian use, and the occasional bicycle.
Old-fashioned clotheslines often run from one side of the lane to the other -- they're an iconic feature of the Plateau Mont-Royal.
Neighbors cooperate to create these quiet oases -- but it's clear to me who really owns the ruelles vertes.
More in the next post...