Six research-intensive academic units bring a range of specialist knowledge and complementary skills to the project. In setting up this alliance, we draw on our past experience with the Groupe Interuniversitaire de Montréal (GIM), a CIDA centre of excellence: the urban studies departments of four of our Montreal partner universities collaborate in capacity-building in institutions overseas. In this CURA, the university network brings together the research expertise in community health from Douglas Hospital with that of a number of allied departments (architecture, planning and urban studies) that work on urban development and teach through studio and field-based courses. The similarities in focus and teaching style facilitate cross-teaching, joint work on projects and co-supervision of students to ensure that future practitioners and scholars can engage creatively with the problems facing contemporary cities. In addition, the individual units each bring particular community, municipal, or institutional strengths to our alliance.
School of Urban Planning
With a strong research tradition, an accredited professional (Master’s) programme and doctoral studies, a ‘learning by doing’ approach is already strongly integrated into the curriculum. A history of physical, land use and community planning complements the focus of new faculty on planning practice, environmental planning, social, economic and housing policies, urban design and related theory. The School has worked closely with Montreal neighbourhoods in the past (e.g. Parc-Ex, Verdun) and its members serve as advisors to community groups on an ongoing basis. The School has also collaborated with other academic units, both within planning (as in GIM) and across disciplines (with law, real estate and health). A state-of-the-art lab (CFI funded) for urban modelling will contribute to project activities. Faculty also bring to the project their connections to local, provincial and national planning bodies and to international research networks.
Institut national de la recherche scientifique (INRS)
Urbanisation, culture et société (Urban studies)
As a research institute with an academic Master’s and doctoral programme, INRS underpins our capacity to train doctoral-level researchers. As one of Canada’s primary urban research centres and as host of Ville Région Monde, it is well-linked into national and international research networks (e.g. Metropolis). INRS has a working paper series as well as doctoral methods seminar that can help support dissemination and training objectives.
Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM)
Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM)
Urban Studies and Tourism
The two departments offer both undergraduate and graduate programmes, with strengths in economic geography, regional science, strategic planning, GIS and municipal governance. Faculty involvement with the second Montreal mega-hospital (CUSM), the Citizen’s Summit, the Ecology Centre and the City of Montreal on local democracy will provide both comparative perspective and connections to key community forums.
Geography, Planning and Environment
Concordia offers courses in urban studies at the undergraduate level as well as a doctoral programme in geography. Particular strengths include: computer-based training, field courses, internships, an on-going lecture series on urban issues, and community development training (community representatives in the Coalition teach in this programme).
Université de Montréal
School of Architecture
Offering professional degrees in Architecture, the University of Montreal (UdeM) has a strong teaching, research and professional focus on the built environment. A new initiative for a joint program with McGill in urban design will bring students together in studios co-taught by academics from both institutions that, in selected years, will feed into this project. The Laboratoire d’étude de l’architecture potentielle (L.E.A.P.) explores design competitions as means to improve learning and innovation. Studio courses underway on UdeM's expansion plans, most notably its own mega-project to turn the Outremont railyard into a second campus, address similar concerns to those arising with the MUHC.
Douglas Mental Health University Institute
The researchers involved in the project bring a strong track-record in research and publication, and an interest in linking community health and psychiatry to place-based analysis. In addition, the department brings extensive experience with the research techniques employed in large scale qualitative surveys, social network analysis and participatory research. CIHR funding for research with 300 households in St Henri (including survey design, testing, etc) represents a substantial contribution to this CURA.