1 September 2008 — 1 December 2013
First launched through 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-Montreal design initiatives via various digital communication tools.
In June 2006, Montreal was officially designated a UNESCO City of Design, joining the Creative Cities Network established by UNESCO in 2004.
In granting Montreal the title City of Design, UNESCO has acknowledged the city’s creative potential in design disciplines, based on the strong concentration of talent here as well as the commitment and determination of the City of Montreal, 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 Montreal around its creative forces in design.
Montreal 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 – invest in the project and make it their own.
In November 2007, the governments of Canada and Quebec, the City of Montreal, and various cultural and business groups (all 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 Montreal 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 Urban Landscape at the University of Montreal, both promoters of Montreal’s candidacy as a UNESCO City of Design, launched a 3-year project entitled Building Montreal UNESCO City of Design with the assistance of 4 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 City of Montreal.
In June 2009, a call went out for everyone to work together in implementing Montreal UNESCO City of Design.
The goal of the Montreal UNESCO City of Design initiative is to enhance the design quality of objects, buildings, and public spaces intended for Montrealers through better upstream integration of project designers in various disciplines.
The Montreal UNESCO City of Design initiative is based on the idea of quality in design:
The initiative aims to: