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Montreal announces new plan to tackle urban inequalities

Click to play video: 'Montreal hopes to tackle inequality between neighbourhoods with new urban planning approach'
Montreal hopes to tackle inequality between neighbourhoods with new urban planning approach
WATCH: The city of Montreal says its adopting a more streamlined approach to urban planning meant to tackle inequality. The hope is that the new inclusive resilient neighbourhoods approach will result in less competition for urban projects. As Global’s Elizabeth Zogalis reports, it will allow vulnerable boroughs the opportunity to build meaningful infrastructure to cater to its specific needs. – Oct 6, 2023

The city of Montreal said its urban planning methods are about to get much more streamlined.

The new “inclusive resilient neighborhoods” approach will result in less competition for urban projects and allow vulnerable boroughs the opportunity to build meaningful infrastructure catering to their specific needs.

The new strategy focuses on reducing inequities in the most vulnerable neighborhoods by consulting with key players on the ground.

“Instead of going top to bottom the way we usually do, we are going to a bottom-to-top approach to make sure the priorities that are identified by the different levels of partners can be taken into account,” said Dominique Ollivier, executive committee president.

The city will use the living environment equity index, a survey available online for all Montrealer’s that has a series of questions that determine if a neighborhood is vulnerable or high priority.

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“Are we doing the right investment? Does it have a concrete impact on the life of the citizens?” said Ollivier. Six main factors will be taken into consideration when selecting a neighborhood, including the lack of access to green space, commerce, leisure and athletic centres, road safety and accessibility.

“This approach will allow people to say this is what we want regardless of the administration that is there,” added Ollivier. Three neighbourhoods have already been selected with hope of improving the quality of life for their citizens by 2030: Sainte-Marie in the borough of Ville-Marie, the northeast part of Montreal North and Ville Saint-Pierre in Lachine

“It was important to choose places where big investments were coming,” said Lachine mayor Maja Vodanovic.

Investments such as a rec centre in Montreal North and the construction of the Ville Saint-Pierre interchange.

“There’s all these things that are already on the table, but how do you put all these things together to maximize the investment,” she added.

Vodanovic believes this new strategy will finally have all the key players on the same page.

“We’re actually addressing the problems that people were talking about for 10 years. So, things will get done.”

There are no official projects yet. The city estimates it will have a concrete action plan for the selected areas by the end of the year.

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