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Cities at the heart of the fight (?)

Two of my recent reads touch on environmental defense and, indirectly, the role of municipalities.

A graphic novel-reportage and an essay. Proving that I have diverse reading tastes—even if my friends say otherwise!

A Natural Sacrifice

What I take away from reading this illustrated reportage on the shortcomings of biodiversity protection in Quebec by Martin Patenaude-Monette:

☘ Without citizen mobilization, the damages would be even more significant.

🐸 The government lacks transparency, and it's chaos.

🌲 The struggle between economic growth and biodiversity isn't fought on equal terms.

It's abnormal that the responsibility to protect land housing important species falls on members of the community.

Who take the matter to heart.

Acquire expertise.

Seek answers and support from ministries and/or cities, which are not always forthcoming.

👉 In short, these individuals give THEIR precious personal time despite obstacles, to preserve what will benefit EVERYONE.

Whether it's because the format of graphic novel-reportage intrigues you, the subject of biodiversity excites you, or you enjoy pointing out government inconsistencies, "A Natural Sacrifice" will undoubtedly delight you.

Adapting - Tomorrow: resilient cities

My reaction to reading this book: "So it's really complicated to create a pedestrian street and a bike lane!"

We often underestimate the role of cities in the socio-ecological transition and the impact they can have on climate change: François William Croteau brings them to the forefront.

We often underestimate the inertia that local governments face: "Adapting - Tomorrow: resilient cities" takes us behind the scenes of the Rosemont–La Petite-Patrie borough.

The former mayor offers a thoughtful reflection on the challenges and opportunities of ecological transition at the municipal level. He highlights the challenges encountered during his municipal mandate, including resistance to change and difficulties in reconciling the divergent needs of different neighborhoods. His testimony provides insight into the complexities of local governance and managing (often contradictory) resident expectations.

Being a mayor is not easy!

What really struck me is the transformational socio-ecological role of cities, from the beginning to the establishment of a sustainable and coherent vision and the consistent engagement with and understanding of residents' needs.

It would be difficult to choose my favorite passage as the topics are so varied and relevant! It's especially the straightforwardness and critical thinking present throughout the book that surprised me.

Reading a section on innovation and data fulfilled the nerd in me. 💻 Other themes in the book:

🏛 Urban governance

🏞 Land use planning

🌱 Emission reduction - indispensable even when talking about adaptation

🦉 Biological ecosystems

🍽 Food autonomy

🚲 Sustainable mobility

I would have liked to see a section on buildings. There is so much to be done at the city level, and it resonates with many of the mentioned themes. After all, a city consists of roads around buildings and public spaces, doesn't it?

I'm really looking forward to reading about eco-taxation in a potential second volume.


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