Spotlight on urban greenhouses discussion day

A day of discussion on urban greenhouses was held on April 3 in the multipurpose room of the UQAM Cœur des sciences Pavilion. Organized in collaboration with the Centre for Community Organizations (COCo) and the Laboratoire sur l’agriculture urbaine (AU/LAB), this Collective Impact Project (CIP) initiative brought together nearly 100 people from Montreal’s community, academic, municipal, agricultural and health sectors.

The project was created at the request of stakeholders in CIP-supported neighbourhoods, as 7 of the 17 CIP neighbourhoods are specifically working on their food system and need tools in this area.

Since urban greenhouses are an important feature of the production component of food systems, a space for discussion about this topic between agencies and urban agriculture experts seemed like just the thing needed.

Moderated by Jean-Philippe Vermette, Director of Public Policy and Intervention at AU/LAB, the day began with two technical presentations. Many topics were discussed, including the different types of greenhouses, their integration into food systems, and prevailing regulations.

Photo : Les Jardins des Patriotes

The afternoon presentations revealed inspiring Montreal projects: the cooperative Les Serres du Dos Blanc (Saint-Laurent), Notre Quartier Nourricier (Centre-Sud), Les Jardins des Patriotes (Saint-Michel) and Vert Harmonie (Mercier-Ouest). The event was an opportunity for these agents of change to talk about their experiences, challenges and successes.

Photo : Vert Harmonie

These projects of different sizes and goals gave the participants a broader view of the realities of integrating urban greenhouses into a food system.

The day was organized so that everyone could talk to the experts and agencies that presented a project.

After each session (in the morning and afternoon), four different workshops were held and attended by about 20 people along with the people who gave the presentations. Participants could attend at least two workshops for each session.

This day of discussion on urban greenhouses therefore ended on a note of mutual support and encouragement. The Montreal stakeholders who participated went home with plenty of ideas and inspiration for improving their food systems.