After Disaster, Planning Provides Road to Recovery for Lac-Mégantic

Lac-Mégantic, Quebec was the site of a train derailment that cost dozens of lives and destroyed 10 blocks of its downtown. Now residents and town leaders are working to heal from that tragic event with plans for the future.

"'You’ve got to recapture the whole sense of the city,' says John van Nostrand, a Toronto architect and urban planner with international experience working in disaster-riddled communities. 'It's partly about nostalgia, but it’s partly the opportunity to change it. … You need good streets, you need public space, and you need a good layout – but you also need a place that allows people to remake it the way they’d like to see it.'"

"Just as people don’t suffer or recover from trauma the exact same way, no two towns emerge from disaster with the same scars or plans for renewal," writes Kathryn Blaze Carlson. "But both Cordova and Lac-Mégantic are in the rare (if deeply unenviable) position to build their centres from scratch, to lay the groundwork for a 'destination' rather than a cookie-cutter 'non-place' lacking the natural energy that pulses from established communities but is so rarely found in overly built environments."

Full Story: How rebuilding plans will create a new vision of Lac-Mégantic

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