Shaping Neighborhoods: Experience and Innovation

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Published: 22 March 2018

In Situ series of "conference-experiences" on Montreal


Starting in April, CIRM and the Quartier de l’innovation invite you to participate in a series focusing on local urban innovation initiatives!

Shaping Neighborhoods: Experience and Innovation is a series of “conference-experiences” intended to entice communities of a neighborhood to rediscover urban planning projects that exist there and to engage in conversation about community projects, university research, and the municipal initiatives currently happening.

It will be a chance to reflect, develop, and construct a neighborhood that is resilient and tuned in to its citizens. At each meeting, the participants will have the opportunity to visit a noteworthy place in the neighborhood and converse with local organizations that are working toward rethinking their living environment. University researchers will also be a part of the discussion, relating and comparing their own research to actions taking place locally.



Why has place-making become necessary? Most places in most cities developed organically over time, as people and builders appropriated space, modelled it and gave it character. In this era where buildings and neighborhoods are built and torn down, rethinking architecture has become essential.

When: April 17th, 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Where: Tour d’aiguillage Wellington (How to get there)

Academic Leader:  Richard Shearmur, Director of the School of Urban Planning, McGill University

Program: Visit of the Tour d’aiguillage Wellington (Wellington Control Tower), a research/action, dissemination and incubation venue with a café-bistro, which will serve as a meeting hub for all who are rethinking and building the city of today and tomorrow. The visit will be followed by a discussion in the Young Project transitory space created by Entremise.


Ms. Pauline Butiaux (Vice President and treasurer, Manoeuvres / Tour d'aiguillage Wellington)

Mr. Gorka Espiau (McConnell Foundation Professor of Practice / CIRM)

Mr. Philémon Gravel (cofounder, Director of urban planning, Entremise)

Mr. Jonathan Cha (urban planning and urbanism; urbanist; landscape architect; heritage consultant; Urban planning consultant, Parc Jean-Drapeau; lecturer UQAM-UdeM; cofounder, MTL ville en mouvement; codirector Le Virage MTL)

Ms. Carla Rangel Garcia and Ms. Marie-Philip Roy-Lasselle (Projet Mont Réel and ConstructLab Berlin)



Between real estate speculation, rapid urbanization trends and the social needs of its population, a city is under tremendous pressure on the issue of housing. What are the innovative practices that a municipal administration, real estate developers or social economy enterprises can adopt regarding the development of living spaces? What kind of mix provides the best social and economic diversity for healthy communities?

Procedure: Guided tour of various housing cooperative projects of the Griffintown neighborhood and of the Projet Young, led by Bâtir son quartier and Habitations La Traversée. The visit will be followed by a discussion at Projet Young.

Academic LeaderNik Luka (Associate Professor, Peter Guo-hua Fu School of Architecture, McGill University).

Date: June 5, 5:15 to 7:30 p.m.


Mr. Erwan Poënces (development agent, Bâtir son quartier)

Mr. Michel Saint-Cyr (special projects advisor, Habitations La Traversée)

Mr. Bertrand Fouss (co-founder and President, Solon Collectif)

Mr. Jonathan Lapalme (co-founder, Entremise and Projet Young - Laboratoire transitoire)

Ms. Laurence Vincent (co-president, Prével)

Ms. Nancy Shoiry (general manger, Société d’habitation et de développement de Montréal)



Have you heard about civic assets? Some buildings play a central role in the collective lives of their communities. Think of schools, community centres, hospitals and places of worship which contribute people’s sense of belonging.  Many of these sites of belonging are today in need of renewal. What strategies can be developed to enable civic assets to flourish in the face of rapidly changing urban landscapes?

Date: June 13, 5:15 to 7:30 p.m.

Academic LeaderHoi Kong, Associate Professor, Faculty of Law, McGill University.

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