- October 24, 2023 - Space for Life
In late September, the Transition Pathways team unveiled the work of its Défi territoire (Territory Challenge) entitled Comment habiter le territoire québécois de façon sobre et résiliente d’ici 2042? (How to inhabit the Québec territory in a restrained and resilient way by 2042?). For three years, over 500 people from the academic and professional sectors pooled their knowledge to answer that big question!
The stakes are immense. The organization of our territories and the lifestyles that result from it make the Québec population one of the biggest consumers of energy and natural resources in the world. On top of which, every resident of Québec generally speaking emits twice as much greenhouse gas as the world average, contributing inordinately to the acceleration of climate change. At the same time, our lifestyles and our land-use planning choices make us vulnerable to current and future climate hazards.
It cannot be denied that awareness of the urgency to rethink the organization of our territories and our economic and cultural practices has increased in the last several months. Stances are being taken, even at the highest political levels, to review our practices with regard to mobility (fighting solo car use and reducing the number of automobiles, among others), to optimize our living spaces by way of an intelligent densification that restricts urban sprawl, and to preserve our natural environments and their resources. Although certain policies and many initiatives are at work promoting changes that lead to greater resilience and restraint, these are not necessarily on the increase or being systematized across Québec. The transformations that need to take place are immense, and will take at least a generation to unfold.
Co-constructing a pathway to a desirable future
In the face of an uncertain future, it is essential to establish a long-term vision of what we desire and to engage the stakeholders on our territories in a trajectory that will achieve that vision. On the basis of its forward-looking approach, Transition Pathways initiated discussions and workshops involving different experts, users and managers to define the elements of a desirable future for restrained and resilient territories in 2042. Next, the stakeholders in the territories (governments, individuals, businesses, civil society and so on) could put in place 70 previously identified stages in order to connect the present situation to that desired future. Those 70 “milestones” are associated with six major themes: collaboration and sharing; practices and governance of adaptation; ecosystem regeneration and reconnection with nature; resiliency and efficiency of living environments; prudence; circularity and productive autonomy; and lastly, transformation of our mobility. Understanding how these are interconnected allows us to take a step back and get an overall view of the road to travel. As in a game of dominos, each milestone is connected to the previous one, but also to the next, within a trajectory that helps us understand the interactions joining them together.
Publication of these reflections and this work, by way of a final report and accompanying fact sheets, is a first step in the dissemination of the mobilized knowledge. The Transition Pathways team is now traveling across Québec to offer workshops, lectures and training as a means of getting to grips with the trajectories of possible transformations, of positioning itself on the transition chessboard, and even of co-creating its own trajectories as a contribution to collective action-taking!
For further information: cheminsdetransition.org