In 2003, UNESCO entrusted to the University of Montreal the deployment of a reflection that would support the preservation, value enhancement, and development of urban landscape by creating a UNESCO Chair in Urban Landscape (CUPUM). With respect to this mandate and to respond to the diverse issues brought to light by cities in different territorial contexts, this scientific organization, with its international partners, is working ever since on the realization of different research and teaching activities.

Given the complexity of issues related to city development, the UNESCO Chair in Urban Landscape continues, by means of strategic platforms and international reflection, the elaboration of the most inventive planning visions, which are also capable of producing quality urban living environments, to showcase the identity of cities, and to reduce environmental, social (inclusion, etc.), and economic problems. These responses are possible through sharing, open dialogue, and mutual aid between cultures and knowledge.

For the entirety of its activities, CUPUM, with its scientific partners, believes in the internationalization of knowledge in architecture, landscape architecture, urban design, urban planning, social sciences and ecology by way of a university solidarity, of teaching, student, and professional mobility, and in the support of local and national governments. The Chair also contributes to the education, awareness, and support of elected officials and municipal experts, of governments, of the professional environment and of citizens regarding territorial development.

CUPUM thereby facilitates the sharing of knowledge, pedagogical experiences, and bilateral and multilateral research (seminars and projects) with the support of all of its partners, including those in North America, Europe, Maghreb, the Middle East, and Asia. 

In summary, the objectives of the UNESCO Chair in Urban Landscape combine:

  • Development of research and higher education in architecture, landscape architecture, urban design, and urban planning in partnership with national and local governments, the professional planning environment, and associated academic institutions;
  • Education for sustainable development of urban areas through complex issues of globalization and consideration of environmental, economic, social, and cultural dimensions;
  • Inclusion of an interdisciplinary and intercultural knowledge which builds on international academic solidarity and on student and teaching mobility;
  • Increase of connections between the academic and the professional sectors in order to ensure the transfer of knowledge;
  • Development of design/prototyping processes by promoting innovative methods of ideation, of urban data collection and analysis, which serve as inputs for the execution of urban projects;
  • Dissemination of scientific activities generated by CUPUM and its network of international cooperation to actively contribute to the spread of knowledge.