(De)construction Holiday: Visioning Possibilities for Pathways

Urban roadways contribute to heat islands, toxic runoff and stressful humanscapes. With vision, we can change this.

B. Lorraine Smith
5 min readJul 30, 2022
The view from the passenger seat on the road from Montreal to Northern Ontario during Quebec’s annual “construction holiday”. I spent time visioning what it could look like instead (see drawing below).

Passenger pain prompts possibilities for pathways

Two things are colliding here:

  1. Noticing that a lot of our urban and highway infrastructure is designed so as to practically guarantee accelerated global warming and species decline.
  2. Accepting a challenge to put more time each day into envisioning better, alternative outcomes.

The result is a mix of helplessness and curiosity, resignation and enthusiasm.

Construction holiday road trip, even though I’m no fun in a car

It’s the annual “construction holiday” in Quebec right now, a convenient time for many (including my co-traveler) to take time off. This is a wonderful thing. And… our 10-hour journey by car to visit family in Northern Ontario reminded me how stressful I find being in a car. There are two levels of trouble that prompt me to envision something better.

Level 1 is about personal trauma. Between the ages of 18 and 21, I was in the vehicle…



B. Lorraine Smith

Former sustainability consultant replacing ESG with reality-based insights about corporate purpose and impact. https://www.blorrainesmith.com/