An ambitious three-phase real estate development project called Quartier des Lumières has been awarded “Three Stars Fitwel Community” certification. It was bestowed by the Center for Active Design in New York which sets standards for excellence in urban design that fosters the physical, mental and social health of the people it impacts.
Developers hope to revitalize the area around the Maison de Radio-Canada, the iconic hexagonal tower on René-Lévesque Blvd. Before its re-christening, the historically working-class neighborhood was once called Faubourg à m’lasse.
“It is the only neighborhood in Canada to hold this certification; moreover, it was also granted the highest international score in this assessment,” explains MACH, the project’s real estate developer firm. Quite an achievement, given that Quartier des Lumières is still on the drawing boards.
In addition to the planned condos, rental units and offices, there will be a mix of shops and services. Its designers and architects envisage pedestrian-friendly streets, plus a public park and an elementary school.
And it looks as if the new project will make provisions for low-income residents. “In regards to social and affordable housing, access to local grocery stores and social and community outreach for the residents, the master plan fully met Fitwel’s criteria,” says Hugo Lafrance, director, sustainable strategies, at Lemay, the architectural firm that designed the master plan for the Quartier des lumières in cooperation with MACH.
Fitwell gave the Quartier project high marks in seven key categories: increase physical activity, promote safety of residents, reduce morbidity and absenteeism, support social equity for vulnerable groups, generate feelings of well-being, and strengthen community health and access to healthful nutrition.
“As a property developer, we are mindful of our duty of caring for the communities that welcome us and we will ensure that the Quartier des lumières offers a healthy, dynamic and inclusive lifestyle for everyone,” says Christopher Sweetnam Holmes, vice-president of real estate development at MACH. •
All photos courtesy of Quartier des Lumières