Education / Research

Launch of Montréal, UNESCO City of Design initiative

The Montreal UNESCO City of Design initiative aims at creating opportunities for designers in Montreal so as to give vital and tangible expression to Montréal’s status as a UNESCO City of Design.

First launched throught an investment of $1.2 million over three years (2007-2011), the initiative aims to fund design and architecture competitions as well as promote made-in-Montréal design initiatives via various digital communication tools.

 

Background

In June 2006, Montréal was officially designated a UNESCO City of Design, joining the Creative Cities Network established by UNESCO in 2004.

In granting Montréal the title City of Design, UNESCO has acknowledged the city’s creative potential in the design disciplines, based on the strong concentration of talent here as well as the commitment and determination of the Ville de Montréal, other levels of government and civil society to build on those strengths for the purpose of enhancing Montrealers’ quality of life.

The UNESCO designation is neither a label nor a form of recognition. It is an invitation to develop Montréal around its creative forces in design.

Montréal UNESCO City of Design is thus a collective project that, to become a reality over time, demands that all stakeholders – elected officials, citizens, experts, entrepreneurs and designers – buy into it and make it their own.

In November 2007, the governments of Canada and Québec, the Ville de Montréal, and various cultural and business groups, all of them partners in the Montréal, Cultural Metropolis gathering in November 2007, responded to this UNESCO invitation by agreeing, as part of their 2007-2017 Action Plan, to promote excellence in design and architecture (Commitment 3.2) and to uphold Montréal as a UNESCO City of Design (Commitment 4.4).

Motivated by the implementation of these commitments, the Bureau du design of the Ville de Montréal and the UNESCO Chair in Landscape and Environmental Design at Université de Montréal, both promoters of Montréal’s candidacy as a UNESCO City of Design, launched a three-year project entitled Building Montreal UNESCO City of Design with the assistance of four major public partners: the Ministère des Affaires municipales, des Régions et de l’Occupation du territoire, the Ministère de la Culture, des Communications et de la Condition féminine, the Conférence régionale des Élus de Montréal and the Ville de Montréal.

In June 2009, a call went out to everyone to work together in implementing Montréal UNESCO City of Design.

 

Mission

The goal of the Montréal UNESCO City of Design initiative is to enhance the design quality of the objects, buildings and public spaces intended for Montrealers through better upstream integration of project designers in various disciplines.

 

Values

The Montréal UNESCO City of Design initiative is based on the idea of quality in design:

  • It is an area of concern
  • It is the outcome of a process
  • It is defined by certain criteria

 

Approach

The initiative aims to:

  • lead the various influential players in urban development to engage with the project to conceive and build the city with input from designers
  • champion those who defend quality in design
  • develop, by the power of example, Montrealers’ interest in and taste for – and, consequently, their demand for – good design
  • democratize quality in design: a city is built not only on exceptions (the “spectacular”) but on the sum of individual efforts (“the ordinary”)
  • open up the awarding of public commissions and make them more accessible: creating room for the next generation, letting new talents flourish by enabling them to contribute to the city’s future
  • promote design competitions as the preferred process for awarding public commissions, because of their transparency, their educational scope and the quality that they generate
  • encourage the undertaking of projects that contribute to the quality and sustainability of the living environment, and to the development of Montréal’s urban landscapes

 

 

Team

  • Producers
    • Design Montreal
    • UNESCO Chair in Landscape and Environment at the University of Montreal
  • Major partners
    • Gouvernement du Québec
    • Montréal, Ville UNESCO de design
    • CRÉ de Montréal
    • Commission canadienne pour l'UNESCO
  • Executive Committee
    • Danièle Aveline, Metropolitan Development Coordinator, ministère des Affaires municipales, des Régions et de l’Occupation du territoire
    • Béatrice Carabin, Design Commissioner, Design Montréal, Ville de Montréal
    • Caroline Dubuc, Design Commissioner, Design Montréal, Ville de Montréal
    • Marie-Claire Dumas, Director-General, Conférence régionale des élus de Montréal
    • Johanne Dumont, Director, Direction du développement régional et métropolitain, ministère des Affaires municipales, des Régions et de l’Occupation du territoire
    • Brigitte Jacques, Director of Montreal, ministère de la Culture, des Communications et de la Condition féminine
    • Marie-Josée Lacroix, Director of Design Montreal, City of Montreal
    • Philippe Poullaouec-Gonidec, CUPEUM's chairholder
    • Guy Raynault, Director,  Développement urbain, Conférence régionale des élus de Montréal
    • Sophie Tanguay, Development agent, ministère de la Culture, des Communications et de la Condition féminine
    • Virginie Zingraff, agente de développement Environnement et développement durable, Conférence régionale des élus de Montréal
  • Production team
    • Béatrice Carabin, Design Commissioner, Design Montréal, Ville de Montréal
    • Caroline Dubuc, Design Commissioner, Design Montréal, Ville de Montréal
    • Marie-Josée Lacroix, Director of Design Montreal, City of Montreal
    • Philippe Poullaouec-Gonidec, CUPEUM's Chairholder
  • Production team (assisted by)
    • Lyndsay Daudier, reaseach and project agent, CUPEUM
    • Jolaine Frigault, administrative agent, CUPEUM
    • Caroline Gagnon, research agent, CPEUM
    • Stéphanie Jecrois, Project manager, Design Montréal, City of Montreal
    • Christine Marcotte, Administrative officer, Design Montréal, City of Montreal
    • Dominique McGregor, Projects manager, Design Montréal, City of Montreal
    • Sylvain Paquette, Researcher, CUPEUM