Pointe-aux-Trembles parks seen by local teenagers16 December 2019
During November and December 2019, Sarah-Maude Cossette (TRYSPACES intern) and Nathalie Boucher (R.E.s.P.I.R.E partner) hosted a series of four workshops at the Pointe-aux-Trembles youth centre to bring together local teenage girls about their experiences with parks and the transgressive practices that take place there.
The workshop on November 28th provided an opportunity to summarize the discussions initiated during the month of November and the results of observations conducted prior to that, in the summer of 2019, in two parks in the neighbourhood. Participants drew inspiration from the many elements raised to create a detailed list of their main needs in terms of the layout, equipment and furniture of the park they use most regularly, namely Richelieu Park at the corner of 40th Avenue and Forsyth Street in Pointe-aux-Trembles. These needs include clean toilets and openings until the park closes, adequate lighting, age-appropriate swings, water troughs, and furniture for sitting and talking in the shade (benches and picnic tables). They also identified proximity to home and tranquility as factors that contribute to their presence in the parks.
As a conclusion and concrete application of the learning, the workshop on December 5, facilitated by Alice Miquet and Jessica Condemi of the Conseil Jeunesse de Montréal, led to the drafting of recommendations based on the list of needs that the adolescents had established the previous week. To do this, Alice and Jessica first presented the teenagers with the territory, the administrative and political authorities, and then the various responsibilities assumed by the City of Montréal and more specifically by the borough that concerns them: Rivière-des-Prairies-Pointe-aux-Trembles. They then introduced adolescent girls to the concept of citizen participation, which involves different strategies that adolescent girls have access to. With regard to urban planning requests, they have understood that they can address themselves directly to the Borough’s elected officials, which they intend to do so so that their favourite park is adapted to their needs. The meeting ended with an important closing word: adolescent girls have their own legitimate public space needs, and they have every right to assert them.