The following are peer reviewed reports on research conducted as part of the CURA. In the spirit of the CURA, reviewers include at least one academic and one community member.

Date: October 2013
Amy Twigge-Molecey


Direct displacement refers to instances where residents are pushed out of their housing due to wider neighbourhood changes, such as traditional gentrification or expropriations for mega-projects. Unlike traditional gentrification (i.e. renovation of the existing stock), new-build housing on disused land does not cause direct displacement per se. There may, however, be indirect effects of wider neighbourhood changes on existing residents. The recent proliferation of new-build gentrification has led researchers to emphasize the need to explore the range of potential indirect effects on longstanding residents of gentrifying neighbourhoods. This research report summarizes key findings from a dissertation that developed a four-fold indirect displacement typology sub-dividing the concept into: cultural displacement, social displacement, political displacement and exclusionary displacement. This framework is tested in a case study of Saint-Henri, a gentrifying neighbourhood in Montréal, to assess whether it is useful in understanding the meanings of displacement in the lives of incumbent residents. The case study reveals that in Saint-Henri, social, cultural and exclusionary displacement are all relevant to understanding residents’ experiences in the face of gentrification and mega-project development. There was not however, evidence of political displacement in Saint-Henri to date. Last, this summary documents key findings related to the threat of direct displacement due to the expropriations necessary for the redevelopment of the Turcot Interchange.

Date: July 2013
Lora Milusheva


The report is a socio-demographic analysis of Westhaven prepared by researches at the CURA. The NDG Community Council, together with other partners, has undertaken a leadership role in supporting a 3-year community strategic plan for NDG (2013-2016). According to the plan, four areas in NDG have been identified as vulnerable: Westhaven, St-Raymond, Benny, and Walkley. The CURA supports the NDG Community Council and the Westhaven Neighbourhood Committee in their efforts to identify the specific needs of vulnerable communities. Information presented in the report include statistics on family distribution, employment status, housing tenure and residents' modes of transportation. 

Date: January 2013
Krista Leetmaa, Lisa Bornstein


Empirical and anecdotal evidence suggests that the commercial area of Victoria Village, located in the traditionally affluent city of Westmount, is experiencing a concentration of commercial property ownership. This research examines the potential effects of that concentration on the character of the area, as defined by the presence of particular types of commercial tenants (specialized versus convenience goods and services provision as well as independent versus chain retailers). It seems that the area is indeed undergoing change, and the highly valued “village” feel of the neighbourhood is at risk. Although no direct link can be made between ownership concentration and rent increase (or a change in retail activity), interviews with local business owners and residents show that popular opinion is that these two factors are related. Alongside interviews a business inventory was conducted in August, 2012. This data, with the use of local planning documents and newspapers, is used to formulate a set of recommendations to help mitigate the potential effects of property ownership concentration in the area.

Date: November 2012
Sarah Kraemer, Jill Merriman, Jason Prince, Lisa Bornstein

Saint Raymond 2011 Baseline Report [.pdf]

Saint-Raymond, a sub-neighbourhood of Notre-Dame-de-Grace, lies immediately to the West of two megaprojects, the Turcot Interchange and the new McGill University Health Centre (MUHC). With a small and relatively stable residential population, Saint Raymond is also home to a high proportion of non-Canadian-born residents. Saint Raymond is defined by significant physical barriers that isolate it from other parts of the City. With the arrival of the new mega-hospital, and the reshaping of both the Décarie Expressway and the Turcot Interchange, change is afoot. This report paints a portrait of the neighbourhood and highlights directions in which it may be headed.

Date: November 2012
Authors: Jill Lance, Maureen Kiely and Doreen Lindsay

A Heritage Evaluation of the Glen [.pdf]

The Glen Arch frames a familiar and magnificent corridor connecting Westmount and St. Henri, immediately to the east of the MUHC Glen Campus. This report assesses the historical significance of the Arch and its larger urban context, in light of local efforts to gain protective historical designation. The research reviews key secondary sources but also includes interviews with local historians, engineers, architects, and planners.

Date: Decembre 2011
Authors: Salvador Hernández Latorre, Anne Latendresse, Lisa Bornstein


This report analyzes recent instances (2000-2007) of collective action in neighbourhoods near to the McGill University Health Centre – Saint -Henri, Westmount and Notre Dame-de-Grâce – to better understand the actions of the various actors and how they vary from one neighbourhood to the next. The report analyzes the evolution of the players involved in the protests, the aspects of the mega-project which were the cause of their discontentment and the types of actions deployed. The study of the evolution of collective action in this area has enabled us to understand the differences between the players involved in each of the neighbourhoods, the various collective action strategies and their relationship to the development projects implemented in the sector. Finally, we analyze the implementation phase of the project and its influence on the dynamics of local collective action. The report is divided into three parts. In the first part of the paper we present the main concepts and definitions, in the second part, we discuss the methodological approach adopted and, in the third part, the results of research. The report is written in French.

Date: October 2011
Authors: Sarah Hrdlicka and Lisa Bornstein

A new dinner guest: The emerging role of institutions in food system reform [.pdf]

In North America and Europe, there is a growing movement to use hospital and university food procurement to help support the development of more sustainable, localised food systems. Closely tied to the green procurement and corporate responsibility movements, such practices can offer a way to optimize public institutional spending to support a shift towards more ecologically and socially responsible food systems. Potential benefits include improved access to fresh foods, urban and rural local economic development and reduced environmental impact. While the benefi ts of institutional food reform may be desirable, using the buying power of large institutions to scale up community-centred food initiatives can present major challenges. In this paper I explore the opportunities and challenges North American institutions are encountering in engaging in food system change. Through four cases studies, I identify key characteristics that are common to this practice in order to better understand this emerging model for food system change.

Date: October 2011
Authors: Sangster, E., Larsen, J., Bornstein, L., El-Geneidy, A.


Planners and municipal officials contemplating road infrastructure changes, including traffic calming measures or pedestrian/bicycle infrastructure to encourage active transportation, may struggle to evaluate competing claims about the safety of existing facilities. In particular, anecdotal accounts of road safety in specific locations may seem to conflict with observed accident rates. The purpose of this study is to explore the discrepancies between perceived and observed safety of intersections in a Montreal, Canada neighbourhood and to present a “meta-methodology” analyzing the usefulness of our multi-method approach. We use surveys of local residents, visual observations and traffic counts at intersections, GIS analysis of traffic injury data, and interviews with key community informants to explore why perceptions of risk differ from accident patterns. Our results suggest that city planners seeking to encourage active transportation should not disregard residents’ perceptions, and that a multi-method approach can help integrate these perceptions into the broader analysis of a transportation policy issue.

Date: January 2011
Authors: David Beitel et al.

Westmount Baseline Study  [ .pdf]

The Westmount 2010 Baseline Study provides a “snapshot” view of Westmount as a city and as a community in 2010. Major projects underway in areas directly adjacent to the city, particularly the MUHC Glen Campus development and the Ville-Marie Expressway and Turcot Interchange reconstruction are expected to affect Westmount residents’ quality of life. The baseline study offers indicators worth monitoring over the upcoming years in order to assess the true impact of these mega-projects on the local community. Based on an analysis of demographic characteristics, built form, population density, and real estate costs, it is apparent that Westmount is comprised of two distinct communities: Lower Westmount and Upper Westmount. Whereas Upper Westmount represents a stable, extremely affluent community, Lower Westmount is more diverse and more vulnerable to change. Key indicators, focused on Lower Westmount, include demographic shifts toward an aging, more affluent community; household income that does not keep pace with increasing real estate costs; and a transportation network that prioritizes automobile mobility over other modes. Given the existing conditions and trends revealed in the baseline study, it is expected that Westmount will be facing some complex challenges in the upcoming years that may be further exacerbated by the presence of the MUHC Glen Campus and the reconstruction of Turcot Interchange. The City of Westmount may use its commitment to sustainable development and civic engagement as a source of inspiration and guidance in addressing the issues raised in this report.

Date: December 2009
Author: Amy Twigge-Molecey

Is gentrification taking place in the neighbourhoods surrounding the MUHC? A census-based analysis of relevant indicators, 1996-2006 [.pdf]

This research uses the Canadian Censuses of 1996 and 2006 in order to explore the pace of gentrification to date in the neighbourhoods surrounding the proposed MUHC, Saint-Henri and Lower NDG. These two case study neighbourhoods are compared to the Plateau-Mont-Royal as well as to the Island of Montréal and the Montréal Census Metropolitan Area (CMA). The two case study neighbourhoods exhibit different trajectories of neighbourhood change and gentrification over the 1996 – 2006 period. The Saint-Henri neighbourhood experienced continued ‘standard’ gentrification (i.e. the upgrading of the existing housing stock), as well as significant proliferation of ‘new-build’ gentrification (i.e. the adaptive reuse of former industrial buildings to housing or infill housing development which is targeted to higher-income groups than those in the surrounding neighbourhood). The majority of indicators assessed suggest there is considerable gentrification under way in the neighbourhood. In Lower NDG, the story is more complex. The areas north of the railway tracks and closest to Westmount have been gentrifying for a number of years and continue to do so until 2006. However, there is no evidence that the Saint-Raymond neighbourhood, south of the train tracks and adjacent to the MUHC site, has experienced any gentrification. The key findings of this study are: (1) that the trajectories of neighbourhood change in the neighbourhoods surrounding the proposed MUHC are not uniform; and (2) the census tracts that are exhibiting trends other than gentrification are both enclave neighbourhoods with impermeable physical barriers surrounding them.

Date: September 2009
Author: Rebecca Lazarovic

L’approche Workforce Housing: Revue des programmes et recommandations pour leur application à Montréal [.pdf]

The goal of this report is to examine examples of workforce housing policies—increasingly common in North America as well as in the UK and Australia—and to evaluate their applicability to the Montreal context. A total of 15 case studies have been analyzed, shedding light on four principal types of workforce housing programs: (1) those that stimulate demand for homeownership; (2) those that stimulate demand for affordable rental; (3) those that increase the supply of affordable ownership properties; (4) those that increase the supply of affordable rental units. An important subcategory of workforce housing programs is employer assisted housing (EAH) programs, which include any number of the aforementioned program types and are mostly found in the US. The analysis of the case studies revealed several important benefits of workforce housing, including an alleviation of recruitment and retention issues, an increase in an employer or a city’s competitiveness, the revitalization of neighborhoods having experienced disinvestment and an improvement in an employer’s reputation and overall performance. In addition to these benefits, the case studies revealed certain workforce housing “best practices”. These include the establishment of strict program parameters, the employment of an effective marketing campaign, the creation of public-private partnerships, the outsourcing of workforce housing program management to a third party and the overlapping of various levels of funding and types of interventions. This research led us to conclude that further study is needed before Montreal implements an official workforce housing strategy. Recommendations for further research on workforce housing in the Montreal context are provided.

Date: December 2007
Author: Lisa Bornstein

Community Responses to Mega-Projects [.pdf]

Mega-projects figure prominently in the arsenal of contemporary city-building strategies. The allure is of a city redefined, placed on the world stage and able to improve services, facilities and revenues. Community attitudes to such projects are often more mixed, with fears of gentrification, displacement or loss of existing city character. This paper examines community engagement with large-scale urban redevelopment projects in Montreal, Vancouver and Los Angeles to explore whether new constellations of community-based actors and political processes are emerging in parallel to the rise in mega-projects. The findings suggest that although mega-projects are adopted to pursue global ambitions, concerted community-based demands are to use them to satisfy local needs. In all three cities, innovative practices have resulted that prioritize the quality of residential areas and the needs of low-income households. The paper concludes by assessing the significance of the distinct forms of community engagement apparent in the three cities.

Date: December 2007
Authors: Rotem Ayalon, Claire Frost, Minhee Park and Amy Twigge-Molecey, Lisa Bornstein

Partnerships for Residential Affordability [.pdf]

This report documents case studies where institutions and community groups have collaborated to develop affordable housing, drawn from experiences in North America and Europe. Aiming to inform the partnership between community groups and the MUHC, the report shows: 1) that partnerships are successful when municipal involvement is a key feature of the agreement, 2) partner institutions have financial power that can be leveraged to support common goals; 3) agreements work best when there is a specific plan of action for how to control community impacts and 4) the cooperation of many different stakeholders can result in the creation of affordable housing. Importantly, the job of creating affordable housing should not be left to community organizations; rather, a combined effort by the institution, the municipality, local banks, private and non-profit developers, along with community groups is the most effective way forward. The report also includes annexes showing the development potential in the neighbourhoods.

Working Papers

The following are papers reporting on research, planning, and pedagogical activities related to the CURA. These are not formal research reports and are not subject to peer review. Some of the research presented here may eventually become the subject of a formal, peer reviewed research report.

Date: September 2009 
Céline-Coralie Mertenat

Enseignement transdisciplinaire et écologie urbaine: L’exemple de l’atelier ARC3015B Écologie urbaine de l’Université de Montréal [.pdf]

This report examines the ARC3015B Urban Ecology studio course at School of Architecture at Université de Montréal, co-supervised by Professors Daniel Pearl and Sudhir Suri. The author, a research at the aforementioned department, participated throughout the process as an observer for the CURA and as a resource person. The primary objective of the studio was to study urban environments through an ecological perspective on the city in order to develop the students’ capacity to explore and determine the shape of the city and its architecture. This studio course aimed to teach students how to use a multitude of the layers of information in the design process. They were shown how to increase the depth of information they use while increasing the scope of their analysis through a transdisciplinary approach. The course was a venue for experimentation in transdisciplinary teaching as well as for teaching and exploration of urban ecology. This entails a variety of pedagogical implications: (1) the course offers training in urban ecology to third year undergraduate architecture students; (2) the course is consistent with long-term research objectives with respect to transdisciplinary teaching; and (3) it is a venue for exchange of knowledge on a real development project (the MUHC Glen Campus) between students, university researchers, and community members. The course is therefore consistent with the objectives of the CURA in terms of transdisciplinary teaching and research. It serves as a case study, among other courses linked to the CURA, on approaches to transdisciplinary teaching. The course will be offered again in the 2010 winter term, albeit with a different transdisciplinary organization.

Date: April 2009
Cynthia Nei

Montreal Urban Community Sustainment Project Design Studies [.pdf]

This presentation explores a sustainable development project proposal for an existing surface parking lot owned by Queen Elizabeth Health Complex (QEHC) in the Notre-Dame-de-Grâce neighbourhood in Montreal, not far from the MUHC Glen Yards site. The proposed development would have: (1) a maximum 4-story level height; (2) a green rooftop; (3) shared community subterranean car and bicycle parking; (4) 70% floor-to-area ration (FAR) building coverage in relation to site; (5) universal accessibility; and (6) a drop off delivery zone. The development is intended to be a model mixed use cooperative. The projects two main components include (1) community housing, or residential space for co-housing, affordable home-ownership, and mixed-income co-operative housing, as well as housing adapted to the needs of specific populations; and (2)community space, or commercial space for offices, meeting rooms, kitchen and dining areas, performance spaces, workshop spaces, and so on to meet the need of community groups and the surrounding neighbourhood. The goals are to foster community health and sustainability by transforming a parking lot into an ecological building that includes housing, businesses, and gathering places for diversity of residents and community organizations.

Date: May 2008
Chee F. Chan

A Comparative Analysis of The Mcgill University Health Centre Glen Campus and the Proposed Université de Montréal Campus Developments [.pdf]

This paper attempts to assess how the planning processes for two mega-projects in Montreal treated environmental issues and impacts. The role of the public in these planning processes was an important lens in this research. The two projects are the McGill University Health Centre’s (MUHC) super hospital facility and Université de Montréal’s new Outremont campus. The planning processes for the two projects are compared. Seven semi-structured interviews, four with municipal employers, two with community organizers, and one with a project spokesperson are conducted to obtain information on the planning processes. The study was not conclusive on the extents and influence of members of the public in the planning process especially with regard to environmental issues. Ongoing planning processes and negotiations at the time of study prevented the research from fully exploring the project’s processes and outcomes. Preliminary findings suggest that involvement of the general public occured principally through consultations led by the Office de la consultation publique de Montréal. Participation by members not represented by a community organization was difficult to assess. Further research is required.

Date: February 2008
Gregory Richardson

Applying Sustainable Development Criteria to the MUHC Glen Yards Development [.pdf]

This paper explores various tools available that would help translate the abstract concept of sustainability into practical and measureable terms. The four “tools”, three of them LEED accreditation/rating schemes, are assessed for in terms of their applicability to the MUHC project. These include: (1) LEED for New Construction and Major Renovation—an established rating system that addresses the performance of new commercial and institutional buildings; (2) LEED for Neighborhood Development—a new rating system tool created by the US Green Building Council (USGBC) which is intended for measuring the sustainability of large-scale mixed use developments; (3) LEED Complete—a new rating system developed by the Canadian Green Building Council (CaGBC) which provides ongoing real-time monitoring of the actual energy and water performance of buildings; and (4) Dockside Green—awaterfront redevelopment project in the City of Victoria, BC which has used a simple and innovative approach to establishing quantitative sustainability targets. This report concludes that CURA research can and should establish simple, measurable and contractually binding sustainability actions and targets for the MUHC hospital complex, inspired by the LEED ND and Dock Side Green examples. This research can also enable the community sector to lobby politicians, the MUHC and community members for an agreement which contractually binds the developer of the MUHC project to implement LEED Complete and adopt additional neighbourhood level sustainability targets.

Briefing Notes

Date: November 2012
Author: Jason Prince

Buying Locally: a review of the MUHC's purchasing policies with a view to stimulating local development [.pdf]

A review of hospital procurement policies suggests a number of opportunities for improved local economic integration, further to achieving the goals laid out in a renewed partnership agreement completed with the MUHC in the spring of 2012. Importantly, these goals can be achieved without (or with very slight) modifications to existing policies. First, mechanisms and procedures already exist that allow businesses to interface with hospital decision-makers. Second, MUHC policy already provides for preferential treatment of non-profi t business that employ «les personnes handicappées”, a category that might be expanded to include the entire social economy, following the example of the City of Montreal. Also, MUHC policy also provides helpful guidance to decision-makers when allocating contracts: can a new “local economic impact” clause be added to the list that specifically targets local neighbourhoods? Finally, while any purchasing policy must ultimately be firmly based in competition and market considerations, it may be possible, following the MUHC precedent for ISO certified or sustainable development considerations, to introduce a modest “preferential margin”, when considering bids from local or social economy businesses.

Date: November 2012
Authors: Sarah Kraemer, Stephen Charters, Jason Prince

Measuring_local_interest_in_the_MUHC's_commercial mall [.pdf]

Are local business owners interested in bidding on spots that will be opening up in the MUHC’s new Glen Campus, when it opens in 2015? Research presented in this report sheds some light on what local entrepreneurs know about the new hospital and measures their interest in pitching for a retail spot. The new hospital includes an estimated 3000 square meters of commercial space (equivalent to about 15-20 small boutiques), including some 500 square meters devoted to a pharmacy. Key niche businesses most likely to thrive in the new hospital were targeted for study. A majority of businesses surveyed expressed an interest in moving or expanding to a spot in the hospital mall. The report includes recommendations on measures that could be taken to support local businesses in their efforts to bid on mall spaces. The report also includes important annexes, one which profiles locally-owned businesses in key niche markets, while another includes extracts from Community Benefits Agreements where gains have made by local communities in the retail sector.

Date: June 2012
Authors: Michael Giulioni, Nik Luka

Rethinking public street space in Saint Raymond: a brief in support of active transportation [.pdf]

What lightweight improvements could be implemented in the Upper Lachine corridor that support and faciliatate active transportation, not only into and out of the Saint Raymond neighbourhood, but also within it? Th e primary challenge of this research was to work with what already exists along Upper Lachine (the limited and oddly shaped bits of public space between buildings, and streetscapes interrupted by alleyways) and propose ways to re-appropriate that space in a manner that promotes active transportation objectives. Th e research acknowledges the realities of limited fi nancial resources, the potential for conflict with business owners over the re-prioritization of space, and ensuring that design concepts could “fail-safely”, if they did not meet design objectives. Research work concentrated on both what could happen, and also on how to make it happen.

Date: November 2011
Authors: Jordan Kemp, Ray Tomalty

A Brief on Development Charges, Principles and Practices [.pdf]

Development Charges (DC) are a pricing mechanism used by municipalities to off set the costs associated with infrastructure provision for new urban development. Based on the principle that “growth pays for growth”, DCs are used to finance capital projects such as roads and community centres resulting from urban growth. Three approaches are used in Canada. Under the municipality-wide approach, the DC rate is averaged across the entire city, with the result that small inner city homes subsidize larger homes being built on the urban fringe. The area-specific DC divides the city into zones; rates vary from zone to zone so that new infill homes closer to existing infrastructure (and hence cheaper to connect to existing city services) pay less than those on the urban fringe. Finally, the marginal-cost approach takes DC calculations to a finer grain. In addition to dividing the city up into separate zones, marginal costing takes into consideration the impact of land use and density on the costs of infrastructure servicing. Montreal is one of the few Canadian cities that does not systematically apply DCs on urban development. This brief outlines these approaches and provides a list of resources and contact information for those interested in
pursuing the matter further.

Date: January 2011
Authors: Jacob Larsen, Emily Sangster, Lisa Bornstein, Ahmed El-Geneidy

Pedestrian and Cyclist Safety in Westmount [.pdf]

This paper presents the results of the Westmount Road Safety Study, conducted in the summer of 2010. After reviewing the goals and methodology, and background information on road safety concepts employed in the report, the data is presented. Using survey responses and observed accident data, it compares areas within Westmount that are perceived to be risky with those actually observed to have high accident rates, and discusses why these differences arise. The report also identifies several major factors that were found to contribute to perceived and observed risk, some which Westmount can influence, but also other broader issues that are beyond its control. Particular attention is paid to the deMaisonneuve bicycle path, given its importance as an active transportation route through Westmount. The report finds that although Westmount’s roads are generally safe for pedestrians and cyclists, there are risks associated with excessive traffic speed and volume, non-compliance with traffic laws, and inappropriate traffic signals and signage. The report makes several recommendations to address these concerns.

Date: September 2011
Author: Sarah Kraemer

Inner-City Perspectives: Montreal and its draft regional plan [.pdf]

The region of Montreal is adopting its first regional development plan, or Plan Métropolitain d’Aménagement et de Développement (PMAD), that will directly affect the orientations of City and borough plans for the next 20 years, and drive landuse and development in inner city neighbourhoods, including those surrounding the Glen Campus of the MUHC and the Turcot Interchange. Existing Montreal policy documents that are not sufficiently integrated into the PMAD or other regional planning initiatives could supply specific language that may be lacking from the objectives and orientations of the PMAD. The consultations around the PMAD provide a platform for community groups to both express their concerns and show support for the plan’s objectives and goals, thus helping to guide policy and the development of the CMM over the next 20 years.

Date: May 2010
Authors: Lance, Jill, Julie Bachand-Marleau, Nithya Vijayakumar, Stephen Charters

Maison Neuve: A proposal for better community-hospital connectivity at Place Vendôme [.pdf]

Maison Neuve is a fictional site development plan for the Place Vendôme property at 5252 de Maisonneuve Ouest, located at the northwest boundary of the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) Glen Campus site. This proposal proposes much needed affordable housing at this site, as well as community and not-for-profit office space, complementary research facilities and offices for MUHC. The proposed building, consistent with existing zoning for that location, would also serve as a visual buffer between the existing built form and the future MUHC campus.The conclusions and recommendations included in this report are intended to assist stakeholders in their discussion of desirable strategies for the successful integration of the Glen Yards hospital complex into the immediate neighbourhood and to the rest of Montreal.

Date: May 2010
Authors: Pham, M., Robson, J, Sangster

À Votre Santé: The Vendome Station Redevelopment [.pdf]

The new Glen Campus of the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) will combine the Royal Victoria Hospital, The Montreal Children’s Hospital, the Montreal Chest Institute, the Cancer Centre and the Research Institute of the MUHC into a single site which will also house the Shriners’ Hospital. As part of the development program for the edge north of the Glen Campus, this document proposes the revitalization of Vendôme station into a mixed-use and multi-modal transit hub. The conclusions and recommendations included in this report are intended to assist stakeholders in their discussion of desirable strategies for the successful integration of the Glen Yards hospital complex to the immediate neighbourhood and to the rest of Montreal.

Date: May 2010
Authors: Jean-François Dupuis, Daniel Pearl

Murs végétalisés: mesures d'attenuation pour les megaprojets? [.pdf]

La création de murs végétalisés peut aider à contrer les eff ets néfastes de la construction, comme la poussière et le bruit. Bien que le développement de mégaprojets amène plusieurs avantages sur les plans économique et social à court et à long terme, ceux-ci ont également leur lot d’inconvénients pour la population et l’environnement immédiat. La poussière, la diminution de la qualité de l’air, les dommages causés à l’écosystème, la pollution sonore et l’érosion du sol sont parmis les problèmes observés. Ce document présente dans un format bref et détaillé une gamme d’options de murs végétalisés à considérer par les décideurs et instances politiques, dont la plupart ont été déjà appliqués au Québec. Ce document inclut également une analyse des forces et faiblesses, des coûts ainsi que d’autres éléments à prendre en compte avant d’implanter des murs végétalisés en milieu urbain.

Date: Decembre 2006
Author: Allan Gaudreault

Étude de modes de financement alternatifs du logement communautaire: Quelques initiatives de recherche [.pdf]

Depuis une quinzaine d’années, plusieurs initiatives ont été amorcées dans le but de diversifi er les sources de fi nancement du logement communautaire: fonds dédiés, fonds fi duciaires, fi ducies foncières, fonds de développement et d’investissement etc. Le présent document vise à présenter succinctement un certain nombre de ces initiatives et alors elargir les pistes d’exploration potentielles. La présentation ne se veut pas exhaustive et se limite à des démarches qui, à notre avis, peuvent éclairer certaines pistes de travail, notamment pour les organismes qui souhaitent s’impliquer dans les quartiers concernés par la construction d’un méga-hôpital sur le site connu comme « la cour Glen ». Certains passages ont été retranscrits textuellement des études originales et les références bibliographiques sont indiquées.

Tools for Community Engagement

Date: December 2013
Milan Nevajda and Adam Cutts

Complete Report: ecosquad_final_en.pdf

En français: ecosquad_fr.pdf

Owners Chapter: owners_compiled.pdf

Renters Chapter: renters_compiled.pdf

Financial Resources Chapter: financials_compiled.pdf

We have developed this handy guide to provide Westmounters with a simple, easy-to-use repository of all relevant information to assist in their efforts to create a more sustainable future for Westmount. The Westmount EcoSquad Sustainability Guide:

» Lists sustainability improvements that homeowners, renters, and landlords can easily implement

» Identifies financial support for sustainability projects

» Clarifies administrative processes

The guide covers low-, medium-, and high-investment strategies for improving the sustainability of your property. The project was supervised by Paul Marriott, Maureen Kiely and Lisa Bornstein. The graphic designer is Dakota McFadzean.

Date: November 2013
Molly Johnson and Jason Prince


McGill’s School of Urban Planning has been working with community members and MUHC staff since 2008 via a community-university research alliance (CURA), supporting a goodwill negotiation process aimed at improving the integration of the McGill mega-hospital into the surrounding neighbourhoods. In this context, and via a fortuitous visit from a guest lecturer, students engaged residents near the MUHC hospital site via two interconnected exercises to reimagine the Vendome Metro station and environs. This consultation report finds that decision-makers should improve bike path connectivity in the area and suggests a number of ways to improve the Vendome Metro station, including greening the station and environs, improved mass transit services, and making the station a community hub and shopping destination with coffee shops, restaurants and other services and amenities.

Date: November 2013
Authors: Lauren Lupton and Alanah Heffez


An urban geography program was conducted for teens in Secondary One at James Lyng school in the neighbourhood of St. Henri, Montréal, in collaboration with a local youth empowerment organization called Youth Fusion and the Community-University Research Alliance (CURA). The program aimed at educating students about urban issues, asking for their opinions, needs and ideas regarding suitable urban spaces for children. Using Francis and Lorenzo’s (2002) “Seven Realms of Children’s Participation” to analyze the impact of the program, this briefing explores the four objectives of the urban geography course, before turning to discuss the challenges faced when implementing the program and applicable lessons for the future.

Date: October 2013
Author: Krista Leetmaa, Lisa Bornstein and J. Gross


Community Benefit Agreements (CBAs) are a new tool that enable community groups to enter into a legally binding contract with developers, most commonly as a means to obtain a community benefits package in exchange for support of the developers' project. Such a contract can be a way of ensuring new developments respect and benefit local communities. The legal recourse available to both parties if the other does not follow through on their commitments is one of the most significant and innovative aspects of a CBA. However, often times the public is uninformed about the usefulness of CBAs and community groups may not have enough resources at their disposal to effectively enter into CBA negotiations with a private developer. The Shipyard project in San Francisco showcases how certain conditions can have a significant impact on the feasibility of a CBA for a community, and the chances that a collation of community groups might have in successfully negotiating one.   

Date: May 2008
Author: Mary Pitt

Using Social Network Analysis to Study Participation in the Community-University Partnership Megaprojects for Communities [.pdf]

This research studies the participation of community organisations, university faculty, and researchers in a community-university partnership. The goal of this research is to examine the relationship between the participants involved in the Megaprojects for Communities partnership. The focus is on particular themes in participation including group membership and leadership, community representation, relationships of trust, and expectations and interests of members. Data is generated using literature and document reviews as well as interviews and questionnaires. A social network analysis is applied to the data to visual communication and the flow of resources throughout the partnership. Results of the research assist the self-evaluation and reflection for participants of Megaprojects for Communities. They also add to academic literature on participation in community-university partnerships and the aptness of social network analysis to study a distinct form of community collaboration.

Date: April 2008
Author: Chee F. Chan

Addressing the Impacts of the MUHC Superhospital through Community-Based Action Research [.pdf]

Community-based action research can be employed as a means to address potential community impacts stemming from the construction and operation of the McGill University Health Centre’s (MUHC) proposed new super hospital facility on the Glen Campus. Community-based action research involves researchers and community members working in partnership to understand problems and develop solutions through research. Successful research partnerships require clear articulation of the roles of all research partners, the research objectives and scope of work. Partners should share decision making powers equitably with respect to research directions to ensure relevant results for all partners. Data analysis should be carried out in collaboration with community partners to make use of local knowledge. Based upon these principles, this paper develops a potential action research strategy within the context of the development of the MUHC super hospital. Action research for the super hospital offers the opportunity to explore a diversity of research interests through projects of varying duration all the while building links with, and maximizing project benefits for the surrounding communities.

Date: November 2007
Author: Céline-Coralie Mertenat

Outils pour un langage commun: La construction d’un environnement durable autour du projet du CUSM au site Glen [.pdf]

Firstly, this report presents the concept of sustainable neighbourhoods in an accessible manner, for readers with no experience with urban planning. The report then explores this concept using the MUHC Glen Campus project and its expected impacts on the surrounding neighbourhoods as a case study. Neighbourhood sustainability is further explored through the lens of the new LEED ND accreditation system as well as the so-called Barcelona systemic approach. Thus, this report attempts to provide the basis of a common language that can used in the context of design studio and/or that of a public debate on the subject of the MUHC Glen Campus project.


Highlights 2014

Authors: Miriam Dreiblatt, Hillary Birch, Lora Milusheva, Lisa Bornstein, Catherine Vandermeulen

2014_evaluation_cura.pdf - The assessment plan employs quantitative and qualitative analysis to address two main research questions: what are the advantages of community-university research alliances and how can the disadvantages be reduced in order to benefit individuals and the project as a whole? The main research instrument for this phase of the project is a questionnaire and narrative report which will be circulated to student, academic and community researcher representatives. 

Highlights 2012

Authors: Mitchell Lavoie, Stephen Charters, Lisa Bornstein, Yan Kestens

Neighbourhood Structure as an influence on Quality of Life: Explorations – Data from a longitudinal survey looking at the correlation between mental health and QOL (Douglas Institute, 2012), was used to assess how mental health and wellbeing are influenced by a variety of neighbourhood characteristics. The results show that quality of life is related to factors such as individual incomes, proximity to highways and proximity to pharmacies, although the causality of these relations remains unconfirmed.

Authors: Giovanni Velez, Nik Luka

Towards a more inclusive and barrier-free city: accommodating mobility-disadvantaged older adults on Montréal public transit – One of the objectives of this project is to explore travel behavior and experiences of older adults in accessing public transit in Montréal, by first conducting a focus group discussion (FGD). The conclusion was that, although Montréal’s public transit is affordable, access to buses and the Métro is challenging.

Authors: Amélie Panneton, Hélène Bélanger, Winnie Frohn

L’impact du CHUM : gouvernance et participation des acteurs locaux – Processus de documentation et d’analyse de la gouvernance et la participation des acteurs locaux autour du projet du CHUM, en regardant les principaux enjeux, leur évolution, et l’impact de cette forme de concertation. Dans les publications du CHUM, les représentants du centre hospitalier apparaissent en situation de contrôle : la présence des acteurs locaux n’influence pas la façon de traiter les enjeux.

Authors: Michael Giulioni, Nik Luka

Upper Lachine Corridor: Light Interventions to Encourage Active Transportation - This project dealt with taking an existing commercial main street in Montreal – Chemin Upper Lachine – and improving the street for active transportation.  Interventions proposed included: 1) phased integration of dedicated bicycle lanes; 2) the expansion of pedestrian space; and 3) the improvement of the quality of the street environment for pedestrians.

Authors: Sarah Kraemer, Jill Merriman, Lisa Bornstein, Jason Prince

Saint-Raymond: Portrait of a neighbourhood – As is the case for Saint-Raymond in N.D.G., strong barriers can protect small enclave neighbourhoods from the effects of gentrification and other forces, although these same barriers can also prevent positive change in the neighbourhood. A trend towards gentrification in this area of Montreal, the nearby highway reconstruction and Turcot interchange as well as the MUHC are all projected to have significant impacts on the neighbourhood. The MUHC development has already started to affect the area.

Authors: Sarah Hrdlicka, Ray Tomalty

The Role of Institutions in Food System Change: Lessons from North America - Participation in the industrial food economy undermines public health and sustainability goals, placing the common practice amongst public institutions to source the cheapest food possible at odds with their mission. Sustainable food procurement can be achieved by the use of purchasing preferences, the encouragement of farmers’ markets and other types of community supported agriculture (CSA), as well as the development of onsite kitchen gardens.

Authors: Wiem Bargaoui, Amélie Panneton, Hélène Bélanger, Winnie Frohn

L’impact du CHUM : valeurs foncières et propriétaires- Une hausse des valeurs et de la taxe foncières et une demande accrue de logements résultant de l’annonce de la construction du nouveau Centre hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal, pourraient rendre le quartier inaccessible pour ses résidants actuels. A l’analyse des rôles d’évaluation de deux secteurs spécifiques nous avons déterminé que : 1) il y a une tendance à la hausse des valeurs foncières; 2) il n’y a pas de tendance claire quant à l’augmentation de la valeur des terrains par rapport à celle des bâtiments.

Authors : Pauline Lambton, Shannon Franssen

Towards a Lionel Groulx metro station that favours pedestrians : consultation findings - During the reconstruction of the Turcot interchange, the MTQ plans to redesign the site around the Lionel Groulx metro to accommodate 185 more bus arrivals and departures per day. A public consultation on April 26th, 2012 indicated that the top problems to be resolved were: safety concerns around intersections and at night, the pollution and noise emitted by the buses, conflict between pedestrians and cyclists on the existing bike path, and the fact that one metro exit at Lionel-Groulx will not be sufficient.

Authors: Antonio Loro, Guilherme Iablonovski, Jason Prince

Progress Report: Virtual 3D modeling of MTQ plan for Turcot Interchange - CURA is developing three 3D virtual models of the Turcot interchange: a model of the existing interchange, a model of the plan developed by the ministère des Transports du Québec (MTQ) for the interchange, and an alternative model entitled Turcot 375 that was developed by Pierre Gauthier and Pierre Brisset. These will be uploaded to an interactive website in 2013.

Authors: Jaimie Cudmore, Nik Luka

Grand Community Garden Project – In order to make the Grand Pedestrian Bridge, linking Saint Raymond with the rest of NDG, a more appealing infrastructure for pedestrians and cyclists, the project aims to create a micro-linear community garden project, inspired by New York’s High Line.

Authors: Jaimie Cudmore, Nik Luka

Tactical Participatory Design - This project aims to encourage an ongoing public conversation about how to improve pedestrian and cyclists spaces in the Southwestern NDG neighbourhood, via social media. Temporary design installations coupled with online GIS data collection and user feedback systems, using web and mobile applications, provoke and facilitate local conversations.

Authors: Armi De Francia, Pauline Lambton, Ray Tomalty

Edible Rooftops - Inspired in part by a New York City model, the Edible Rooftops Program proposes to provide year-round food production in greenhouses atop some Commission scolaire de Montréal (CSDM) schools in order to reduce energy in food production and distribution systems, and land exploitation. Locating these greenhouses on rooftops enables better protection from vandalism, greater access to sunlight and opportunities for capturing rainwater and waste heat from the building below. The project is based on an unrealized community project in NDG.

Authors: Keharn Yawnghwe, Ray Tomalty

Developing a road pricing program for Montréal - A simple model of a road pricing program for the Montréal metropolitan area was created with the Agence métropolitaine de transport’s (AMT) 2008 Origin-Destination (OD) survey data and GIS software. Revenues from such a program could fund a system-wide increase in the level of service of public transportation, to encourage a modal shift and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Authors: Jordan Kemp, Ray Tomalty, Jason Prince

A Brief on Development Charges: Principles & Practices – As one of the only municipalities in Canada or the United States that does not implement development charges, Montreal lacks a formal mechanism for funding new capital infrastructure required for new development. The benefits and drawbacks of three approaches to development charges (municipal-wide, area-specific and marginal-cost) are outlined.

Authors: Lauren Lupton, Lisa Bornstein, Alanah Heffez

Perceptions, Planning and Play Spaces: Soliciting Youth’s Perspectives – Students of James Lyng School participated in an urban geography program with the aimed at lowering drop-out rates, and increasing youth participation in neighbourhood planning. This program generated opinions, interests, and two major project proposals.

Authors: Alex Carruthers, Stephen Charters, Jill Merriman, Mario Polèse, Lisa Bornstein

Made In Montreal - Situating urban manufacturing as an integral component of the resilient North American city, Made in Montreal has mapped the current manufacturing sector in Montreal, uncovering a wealth of information on the community’s organization, priorities and supporting institutions. A business directory of the manufacturing sector was launched, and service priorities have been identified.

Authors: Salvador Hernandez Latorre, Anne Latendresse, Lisa Bornstein

Mégaprojets urbains: révélateurs des transformations des métropoles et des relations entre acteurs locaux – Étant donné qu’il y a un retour des mégaprojets urbains, nous avons pour objectif de mettre en lumière les pratiques et les stratégies des mouvements urbains montréalais autour d’enjeux d’aménagement, notamment en ce qui concerne leur planification et leur implantation. La place des mouvements urbains dans la dynamique d’implantation de projets a évolué.

Authors: Julie Bachand‐Marleau, Stephen Charters, Jill Lance, Nithya Vijayakumar, Lisa Bornstein

Maison Neuvea site development plan for 5252 de Maisonneuve - Maison Neuve is a mixed-use development proposed to replace the Standard Life building at Place Vendome, and designed to serve the needs of both the local community and the future McGill University Health Centre at Glen Campus (MUHC).  This development will incorporate mixed-uses, provide affordable housing, facilitate the use of active and public transportation and will meet Universal Design standards.

Authors: Arturo Valladares, Lisa Bornstein

The Negotiation of Social Housing in the Context of the Inclusionary Housing Strategy – The ways in which the Montreal Inclusionary Housing Strategy’s framework influences patterns of negotiation between borough planners, community groups and developers were analysed. Key findings include the desirability of making the inclusion of social housing mandatory and, in some cases, allowing the developer to make cash payments in return for an exemption.

Authors: Arturo Valladares, Lisa Bornstein

Residential Satisfaction in Saint-Henri: Measuring How Neighborhood Change is Being Perceived by Renters, Owners and Resident of Housing Cooperatives – Given that an individual’s degree of neighbourhood residential satisfaction is determined by comparing ideal and actual situations, this project aims to assess whether the Turcot Interchange and McGill University Health Centre megaprojects are changing residents expectations about their neighborhoods. The project also aims to identify whether these changes are related to type of tenure.

Authors: Ali Nouri, David Brown

Polycentric Montreal – This research aims to create maps and models which would locate opportunities for urban and greenspace network intensification around the downtown core; creating a series of new, diverse and well-connected poles: giving rise to a polycentric city of Montreal. The intensification would be related to Montreal’s existing and potential transportation systems.

Authors: Ali Nouri, Nik Luka, David Brown

Structure of Main Streets: Comparing commercial strips near the MUHC – Mapping of five different categories of commercial uses along Sherbrooke St. and Upper-Lachine Road allows the commercial structure of Sherbrooke Street, a successful area, to be used as a precedent for intensification of Upper-Lachine Street.

Authors: Amy Twigge, Jason Prince

Fighting Gentrification: Lessons from East Harlem – A panel discussion and film showing series highlighted the findings of the Justice in the Barrio movement, which uses tenant organising, demonstrations and direct action in an effort to protect the affordability of housing units in Harlem. Presentations from FRAPRU and Comité de logement Ville Marie also highlighted a number of different approaches used to protect affordable housing in Montreal neighbourhoods undergoing gentrification.

Authors: Krista Leetmaa, Jason Prince, Maureen Kiely, Lisa Bornstein

24-hour Hospital Pharmacies – Pharmacy services are integral to hospital operation, and pharmacists play an essential role in evaluating medication orders during open pharmacy hours. 24-hour hospital pharmacies should therefore be considered as part of an adaptive approach to improving health services at hospitals in Canada.

Authors: Ali Nouri, Prof. Nik Luka

NOConcentrations in relation to Montreal’s Hospitals - By mapping the concentration of NO2 produced by automobile use in Montreal, strategies could be proposed in order to either block or redirect NOfrom reaching the hospital site and inhabited areas in proximity to high level zones.

Highlights 2011

Authors: Raphaëlle Aubin, Lisa Bornstein

Effective public consultations and follow-ups? Evaluating Montréal’s municipal public hearing processes in large-scale urban developments [.pdf] The objective of this research is to contrast the public hearing process under the supervision of borough offices and the Office de la consultation publique de Montréal - OCPM in large-scale urban development projects.

Authors: Julie Bachand‐Marleau, Stephen Charters, Jill Lance, Nithya Vijayakumar, Lisa Bornstein

Reimagining Maison Neuve: a site development plan for 5252 de Maisonneuve [.pdf] With the development of the MUHC Glen Campus, 5252 de Maisonneuve Ouest is fit for a remodel, which better serves the local community and health services.  The aim of the McGill School of Urban Planning studio project is to upgrade Place Vendome with two multi-story buildings and employ pro-forma viability analysis to ensure the redevelopment’s economic feasibility.

Authors: Laurence Aubin‐Steben, Audrée Bourassa, Alan Knight, Annie Lebel

Espace sensible de possibilités : Reimagining the Outremont Rail Yards [.pdf] The aim of this research is envision the Outremont rail yard’s role as a connector between adjacent neighbourhoods and analyze the site’s potential to increase physical and social linkages.

Authors: Alex Carruthers, Stephen Charters, Jill Merriman, Mario Polèse, Lisa Bornstein [.pdf] This research initiative seeks both to explore the contribution of local manufacturers to Montreal, and encourage Montrealers to buy locally manufactured goods. The project was presented at the 2011 Urban Affairs Association conference, American Planners Association conference and the Eco-City World Summit, suggesting a growing interest in urban manufacturing in North American cities.

Authors: Stephen Charters, Sarah Kraemer, Jason Prince

Can the Local Economy be integrated into Hospital Malls? Connecting local businesses to business opportunities [.pdf] The objective of this research was to measure local entrepreneurial interest surrounding the MUHC Glen Campus and to encourage local businesses to bid for hospital commercial space.  Close work with neighbourhood economic development groups sought to optimize community benefits with the arrival of the MUHC hospital.

Authors: Julie Bachand‐Marleau, Jason Prince

Imagining Workforce Housing : a participant’s experience at Écologez 2011 [.pdf] The 2011 edition of Écologez competition, co-organized by Equiterre and Ecole de technologie superieure, aimed to re-conceive a road intersection to include new housing in proximity to the MUHC Glen Campus.  Students from varied disciplines proposed the development of a triangular lot in Saint-Raymond with residences for MUHC employees, senior citizens, and non-profit community housing recipients.  The competition submission designed the buildings using green technology and created communal outdoor space accessible to all residents.

Authors: Denis Lévesque, Shannon Franssen (using student material generated in community/university course)

Rethinking St Henri for pedestrians and bikes: A citizen-based street redesign experiment [.pdf] In conjunction with St. Henri residents, the McGill School of Urban Planning piloted a 3-step community engagement project to examine traffic-calming techniques for ‘trouble spots’ in the borough. The research reproduced the Montreal Urban Ecology Centre’s Quartiers verts, actifs et en santé (QVAS) approach in this neighbourhood, with a view to developing mobility and transport planning tools for non-professionals, and to collaborate with borough planners to implement design ideas based on community input.

Authors: Sarah Hrdlicka, Raphael Fischler

Neighbourhood Planning in the Face of Megaproject Development: Parc-Extension and the New Université de Montréal Campus [.pdf] This research examines the dynamics of comprehensive neighbourhood planning and the role of grassroots organisations such as RAMPE at the site of megaproject development.  The results of the study were presented to elected officials and employed to better negotiate a partnership agreement with the Université de Montréal.

Authors: Undiné‐Celeste Thompson, Jean‐François Marsan, Chantal Forgues, Bastien Fournier, Anita Ogaa, Jochen A.G. Jaeger

Bridging the Gap between SEA and EIA: Lessons from the Turcot Interchange [.pdf] This research assessed the gap between Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) approaches and Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA) in terms of the social, economic and environmental sustainability of large-scale projects.  Based on a case study of the Ministère de Transport de Québec’s (MTQ) reconstruction of the Turcot Intersection, Goal Compliance Analysis (GCA) methodology was found to be an appropriate comparative analysis tool for policy makers and citizens.

Authors: Sarah Kraemer, Lisa Bornstein, Raphaël Fischler (material drawn from 2011 first-year studio, MUP students, McGill)

Bringing Research to the Community: Studio 1 research on Ville-Émard/Côte-Saint-Paul [.pdf] In order to guide the creation of a Master Plan for the Ville-Émard/Côte-Saint-Paul district, McGill School of Urban Planning masters students worked with local community organisations to develop five urban visions with varied focuses, including ecology, economy, and transportation. 

Authors: Jacob Larsen, Emily Sangster, Lisa Bornstein, Ahmed El‐Geneidy

Four Ways of Understanding Road Safety in Westmount [.pdf] To understand the impact of ongoing construction at the MUHC hospital complex on the safety of Westmount pedestrians and cyclists, this 2010 study researched the risks pedestrians face, the source of risk and potential solutions.

Authors: Mitchell Lavoie, Lisa Bornstein

Neighbourhood Determinants of Quality of Life in Southwest Montreal [.pdf] The objective of this study is to examine the effect of social and built environment characteristics on perceptions of quality of life.  The research uses several demographic and built environment variables from the McGill University and the Université de Montréal research institutes to provide a planning perspective on 2008 mental health data from the Southwest Borough of Montreal.

Authors: Maya McDonald, Sandra Breux

Methods For Community Engagement: The Quartier Vert Approach in NDG [.pdf] Based on the Urban Ecology Centre of Montreal’s (UECM) “Quartier vert, actif et en santé (QVAS)” 2010-2011 pilot project in south-eastern NDG, the study examines the design of community-based planning processes to foster neighbourhood engagement and influence official municipal planning.

Authors: Céline‐Coralie Mertenant, Daniel Pearl

Entre complexité et résilience, le projet urbain durable selon l’approche de l’écologie urbaine [.pdf] La recherche étudie l’approche écosystémique de la ville durable de l’Agence d’Écologie Urbaine de Barcelone (AEUB) pour considérer quel serait un projet urbain durable selon l’approche de l’écologie urbaine. L’étude aborde le développement, l’opération et la mise en place d’une vision durable et résiliente de la ville.

Authors: Madeline Baldwin, Stephen Charters, Donald Elliott, Paul Giang, Cynthia Jacques, Molly Johnson, Jordan Kemp, Sarah Kraemer, Lauren Lupton, Lindsay Wiginton, Ghada Zaki, E. Mueller, Lisa Bornstein

To CBA or not to CBA? When are the Community Benefit Agreements the right strategy for achieving community benefits? Exploratory research from Los Angeles [.pdf] This paper examines the following research questions – How does the existence of local laws governing affordable housing, living wages or other typically sought benefits affect Community Benefit Agreement efforts?  What type of community capacity is required for binding agreements? How does the position of planning in city government affect agreements?

Authors: Megan Rolph, Richard Shearmur

Major hospitals and their impact on surrounding neighbourhoods: an exploratory study of Montreal [.pdf] This study explores whether hospitals in Montreal shape the surrounding urban environments and to what degree the hospital site determines the neighbourhoods’ economic activity and employees’ residential location.

Authors: Emily Sangster, Lisa Bornstein

Analyzing Westmount’s Walkability Audit: Cities, Citizens and Universities in Action [.pdf] CURA analyzed surveys conducted by the City of Westmount on city blocks, public staircases, lane and park paths to determine residents’ primary areas of concern, clustering of areas, and preventative measures to improve pedestrian mobility. The study seeks to promote sustainability and public participation based on a 2010 neighbourhood walkability audit.

Authors: Darren Veres, Nik Luka

Rethinking Sherbrooke West: How local knowledge can enhance planning and design processes [.pdf] The objective of this research is to ascertain how residents can become more involved in the planning of their communities and how their everyday experience can be used to develop more ‘user-friendly’ design.  The study explores local merchants and shoppers’ perceptions of a traffic calming measures on Sherbrooke West intersections.

Highlights 2010

Authors: Rajinder Bimrah, Ashley Caya, Allison Lapierre, Krystal van Frank, Jochen Jaeger

CURA Research Highlights 2010 - Respiratory Health Effects of the Turcot Interchange The objectives of this research are to identify and define the respiratory health impacts associated with the current state of the Turcot interchange and to determine whether there is a discrepancy between the actual health effects of the Turcot and those perceived by the public.

Authors: Lisa Bornstein, Daniel Pearl, Céline Mertenat, Gregory Richardson, Dalius Bulota, Diana Rivadeneira, Pierra G. Chauvin

CURA Research Highlights 2010 - Universities and partnerships in the building of sustainable communities: a synthesis of research Making Megaprojects Work for Communities was invited to have a central role in the Educator’s day of the Canada Green Building Council’s (CaGBC) National Summit, held in Montreal in May 2009. The aim of this project was to produce visual and textual material that conveyed to CAGBC Summit participants the essence of the CURA, its implementation and any learning to date.

Authors: Lisa Bornstein

CURA Research Highlights 2010 - Mega-projects & community benefits: comparative study of tactics and tools used in North American cities The research investigates how community benefits agreements have been reached and how well they work as a means to strengthen the ‘negotiating process’ here in Montreal and identify what is novel about it.

Authors: Heather Braiden, Stephen Charters, Tristan Cleveland, Kent MacDougall, Nola Kilmartin, Andrew Chung, Jason Prince, Nik Luka

CURA Research Highlights 2010 - 3D Transit Modeling and Civic Participation The purpose of this research is to build a 3D model of the Turcot interchange and it`s alternative proposals to continue public debate in the future of transport in Montréal.

Authors: Charles Cameron, Chelsea Quirke, Patrick Culhane, Hans Ghoorbin, Yosef Robinson, Jochen Jaeger

CURA Research Highlights 2010 - Evaluating Turcot Alternatives: Air Quality The purpose of this research is: (1) to model pollutants attributed to vehicular traffic (CO, NO2, SO2 & PM 2.5) at the Turcot Interchange using the current configuration (baseline), the MTQ proposal (2016 scenario) and the Brisset/Gauthier alternative; (2) to extrapolate the modeling data in a geographic information system (GIS) so as to achieve a continuous field and so as to assess the magnitude and geographic extent of the different proposals; and (3) to better understand the association between the spatial distribution of urban pollutant levels and land use, transportation infrastructure, and daily activities of the population.

Authors: Chee Chan, Lisa Bornstein

CURA Research Highlights 2010 - The MUHC and UdM’s new campus: Planning to address environmental concerns? As part of this research, a study based on semi-structured interviews has been conducted to assess how environmental mitigation measures to address impacts stemming from these two megaprojects were being treated. A review of relevant documentation as well as interviews with a representative of the MUHC project, members of community organizations, and City and municipal representatives were undertaken.

Authors: Chee Chan, Lisa Bornstein

CURA Research Highlights 2010 - Recherche-action et les impacts du méga hôpital CUSM Action-research centred on communities has been identified as a method that, through a collaborative process, allows the development of solutions to problems and preoccupations related to the MUHC Glen Campus project.

Authors: Envirolution Consulting Team (students), Jochen Jaeger

CURA Research Highlights 2010 - Policy Analysis for the Turcot Interchange Reconstruction University and community stakeholders have developed two alternative scenarios for the future development of the Turcot Interchange based on “modal shift”.

Authors: Salvador Hernandez, Anne Latendresse

CURA Research Highlights 2010 - Collective action and mobilization around the MUHC This research addresses the relationship between mobilization dynamics and protest dynamics in the neighbourhoods affected by the MUHC Glen Campus project (Westmount, NDG et Saint Henri).

Authors: Sarah Hrdlicka, Ray Tomalty

CURA Research Highlights 2010 - Towards sustainable procurement: Building food policy for the MUHC This research will examine how public institutions, and the MUHC in particular can contribute to the development of a sustainable community food system that, through food production, processing, distribution and waste management, support the environmental, social and economic well-being of a particular place.

Authors: Bartek Komorowski, Nik Luka, Jason Prince

CURA Research Highlights 2010 - Visualizations and Community Engagement The goal of this research is to investigate the use of visualizations as a means of engaging community stakeholders in the planning and design process.

Authors: Melanie Lambrick, Kevin Drummond

CURA Research Highlights 2010 - Parking problems: On the need for a large-scale integrated management approach This paper addresses the following research questions: What are the main problems associated with parking policies in North America? How can parking management strategies improve these problems? What is Montreal doing to address its parking problems? Is Montreal’s approach to parking management working? Why or why not?

Authors: Jacob Larsen, Alex Carruthers, Jason Prince

CURA Research Highlights 2010 - – An all-in-one resource for understanding the Turcot Interchange In order to encourage better understanding of issues surrounding the reconstruction of the Turcot interchange, the CURA has supported the development of, a website that aims to present well-rounded information about the project in a timely, easy-to-read manner.

Authors: Jean-Pierre Lavoie, Damaris Rose, Victoria Burns, Véronique Covanti

CURA Research Highlights 2010 - Should I stay or should I go? The impact of gentrification on St-Raymond’s elderly population This qualitative study seeks to understand how residents aged 70 years and older in St-Raymond experience changes in their neighbourhood (if any) caused by the process of gentrification.

Authors: Rebecca Lazarovic, Martin Wexler

CURA Research Highlights 2010 - Workforce Housing : Revue des programmes et recommandations pour leur application à Montréal The goal of this research is the investigate the examples of workforce housing programs and policies - increasingly common across North America and, to a lesser extent, in the UK and Australia - and to evaluate their applicability in the Montreal context.

Authors: Rebecca Lazarovic , Lisa Bornstein

CURA Research Highlights 2010 - Hospitals as anchor institutions In order to understand more precisely why hospitals offer community benefits, what kinds of benefits they provide and how they finance, manage, and administer these community programs, this research consists of 10 case studies of hospitals which leverage their assets and resources for broader community gain.

Authors: Céline-Coralie Mertenat, Daniel Pearl

CURA Research Highlights 2010 - L’enseignement transdisciplinaire dans le domaine de l’aménagement This research focuses on issues related to transdisciplinary teaching in architecture and urban design from the perspective of sustainable development.

Authors: Megan Rolph, Richard Shearmur

CURA Research Highlights 2010 - Major hospitals and their impact on surrounding neighbourhoods: an exploratory study of Montreal The aim of our study is to examine the impact of Montreal’s major hospitals on the socio-economic characteristics of their surrounding communities.

Authors: Jean Caron, Danielle Routhier

CURA Research Highlights 2010 - Epidemiological Catchment Area study of Montreal South-West UPDATE The goal of this study is to optimize mental health services and social support within the community and to improve quality of life.

Authors: Liohn Sherer, Aaron  Baxter, Ashvin Ramasamy, Jochen Jaeger

CURA Research Highlights 2010 - The Turcot and Cote-St-Paul: Alternatives for Visual Improvement The goal of this research is not only to assess whether the highway was more or less visible in each of the different scenarios, but also whether the visibility of the structure mattered to residents, and if so, how much.

Authors: Amy Twigge-Molecey, Damaris Rose

CURA Research Highlights 2010 - Is gentrification taking place in the neighbourhoods surrounding the MUHC? A census-based analysis of relevant indicators This report uses the Canadian Censuses of 1996 and 2006 in order to explore the pace of gentrification to date in the neighbourhoods surrounding the proposed MUHC, Saint-Henri and Lower NDG. These two case study neighbourhoods are compared to the Plateau-Mont-Royal (reputedly Montréal’s most gentrified neighbourhood), as well as to the Island of Montréal and the Montréal Census Metropolitan Area (CMA).

Highlights 2009

Authors: Kevin Manaugh, Ahmed El‐Geneidy

CURA Research Highlights 2009 - GIS database for the Montreal Region The goal of this research was to compile a GIS database of physical and demographic information throughout the Montreal region.

Authors: Meaghan Ferguson, Melanie McCavour, Robert Moriarity, Frédéric Gagnon, Jochen Jaeger

CURA Research Highlights 2009 - Turcot interchange reconstruction: Is there a sleep‐friendly alternative? The objectives of this study are to: 1) evaluate QOL of the population in the Village des Tanneries using quality of sleep as the overall indicator; 2) assess the health impacts of air pollution and noise from the Turcot interchange; 3)determine how the three Turcot project alternatives might influence air quality and noise levels, and subsequently; 4) determine which alternative might negatively affect QOL the least.

Authors: Salvador Hernandez, Anne Latendresse

CURA Research Highlights 2009 - Collective action and mobilization around the MUHC This research project aims to make a portrait of the dynamics of social movements and of the citizen mobilization in the areas affected by the MUHC projects (Westmount, NDG and Saint‐Henri).

Authors: Kent MacDougall, Pierre Gauthier

CURA Research Highlights 2009 - Urban infrastructures and the quality of urban form : A Montreal Case Study This research aims to: 1) Consider all types of infrastructure and natural elements which shape the city, such as canals, rivers, railroads, highways, power lines, escarpements, etc. 2) Explore the effects of these infrastructure on various levels such as regional, borough, neighborhood. 3) Determine the impact these elements have had on the quality of urban form and land use patterns at a neighborhood scale.

Authors: Céline‐Coralie Mertenat, Daniel S. Pearl

CURA Research Highlights 2009 - Atelier d’Écologie Urbaine : le CUSM et le village des Tanneries dans une vision de développement écosystémique Comment assurer une connexion résiliente entre le CUSM et le village des tanneries et aussi avec l’ensemble des quartiers environnants?

Authors: Ifeoma Morah, Jason Prince

CURA Research Highlights 2009 - A Framework for Local Hiring Partnerships at the MUHC Research Question: How can a hospital’s potential be harnessed to maximize the social capital of area residents?

Authors: Jose Otero, Lisa Bornstein

CURA Research Highlights 2009 - Towards a fair and inclusive MUHC tender process Research questions: What should be the role of CIQ in the MUHC contract competition? How can that competition and the resulting contract best incorporate the concerns and goals of CIQ and surrounding communities?

Authors: Gregory Richardson, Lisa Bornstein

CURA Research Highlights 2009 - Decision‐making and approval process for the MUHC The goal of this research project was to document the decision‐making, funding and approval process for McGill’s new mega‐hospital.

Authors: Gregory Richardson, Lisa Bornstein

CURA Research Highlights 2009 - Measuring Sustainability at the MUHC Research question: What tools are available for translating the abstract concept of sustainability into practical and measureable terms for the MUHC mega‐hospital project?

Authors: Jean Caron, Danielle Routhier

CURA Research Highlights 2009 - Epidemiological Catchment Area study of Montreal South‐West The goal of this study was to optimize mental health services and social support within the community and to improve quality of life.

Authors: Elham Ghamoushi‐Ramandi, Erika Brown, Munaf von Rudloff, Jonathan Moorman, Jochen Jaeger

CURA Research Highlights 2009 - Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) to Compare Alternatives in the Turcot Interchange The goal of this research was to provide a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) on the alternatives proposed to the Turcot Interchange reconstruction project.

Authors: Edith Tam, Pierre Gauthier

CURA Research Highlights 2009 - Disputed Post‐Industrial Landscapes: Mapping Built Forms and Development Practices in Montreal’s Saint‐Henri A new lifestyle trend of “loft living” has proven to be a popular way to reuse many former industrial buildings, but what attention has been paid to the social and spatial frictions that could potentially arise in the surrounding community?

Authors: Catherine Doucet, Catherine Blanchet, Kevin Lopez, Katheryne O’Connor, Jochen Jaeger

CURA Research Highlights 2009 - Survey of the Tanneries neighbourhood The aims of this research are 1) to survey the entire area known as the “Villages des Tanneries” using structured interviews and mailed surveys. 2) to determine the impact of the changes induced by the reconstruction of the Turcot Interchange on the Village des Tanneries.

Authors: Angela Goodfellow, Jaron Dyble, Meaghan Hoyle Sylvia McIntosh, Stephanie Titman, Jochen Jaeger

CURA Research Highlights 2009 - Evaluating Turcot Alternatives: Air and Noise Pollution The Quebec Government announced it will replace the Turcot Interchange in a massive 5 year project costing an estimated $1.5 billion. In the context of a one‐year course in Environmental Impact Assessments, we chose to evaluate several alternative approaches to the Turcot (and their variations).

Imagining the City

The following are student proposals for the City of Montreal that range from detailed, small-scale projects focusing at the level of a single or multiple building/s to neighbourhood-wide and regional level plans. 

Date: August 2013
Kimberly Fils-Aimé, Kate-Issima Francin, Shannon Franssen, and Lisa Bornstein


On May 1, 2013, a Charrette on accessibility and transportation to the MUHC was held at McGill University. Numerous representatives from various organizations such as the Westmount Municipal Association, the NDG Community Council, and the Community-University Research Alliance (CURA) were in attendance. In addition, several students from McGill University and Université de Montreal took part in the workshop. The primary objective of the charrette was to find ways to improve access to the MUHC site for pedestrians and cyclists from the Southwest, with different groups of participants proposing unique visions for improved accessibility. The charette was coproduced by the Concertation Interquartier (CIQ), the McGilll University Health Centre (MUHC), McGill School of Urban Planning, and invited participants. Kimberly Fils-Aimé, Kate-Issima Francin, Shannon Franssen, and Lisa Bornstein compiled the report.

Date: February 2013
Editor: Kate-Issima Francin


The Studio II mandate required students from the Masters of Urban Planning program to research and propose potential land development ideas in the Wellington Basin area of the Sud-Ouest borough of Montréal, for both public and private use. These development proposals contain the assessment of site preparation needs, spatial design and financial feasibility. The seven-week studio course consisted of visits to the Wellington Basin site, guest lectures, and a site visit to a comparable development project in Montréal. While there are key differences to each groups' vision for the future of the site, they share a common vision of a Wellington Basin that offers a diverse range of housing options, re-connects the site with the waterfront along the Lachine Canal and celebrates its industrial heritage.

Date: October 2010
Authors: Alex Carruthers, Taleen Der Haroutiounian, Etienne Faucher, Megan Rolph, Lisa Bornstein

The Saint Henri Annexe: a proposal for linking the MUHC's Glen Campus to Saint Henri via a local employment centre (.pdf)

A proposed plan for a Saint Henri Annexe envisions the construction of a four-storey building at the foot of Glen Road that would host specialized hospital training courses and act as a one-stop shop for accessing jobs at the hospital. The implementation of the plan depends on collaboration between the Commission scolaire de Montreal (CSDM), the Regroupement économique et social du Sud-Ouest (RESO) and the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC). Upon its completion, the $16 million dollar facility would strive to optimize access to employment in the hospital for local residents. The recommendations included in the report are intended to inform stakeholders of potential strategies for the successful integration of the Glen Yards hospital complex into the immediate neighbourhoods and the rest of Montreal.

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