- Governance and Planning in Montreal   click here to open paper content235 kb
by    Wolfe, Jeanne | Jeanne.Wolfe@mcgill.ca   click here to send an email to the auther(s) of this paper
Short Outline
The purpose of this paper is to analyse the changes to planning practice in the region of Montreal following the radical municipal reforms of 2000, in which 28 municipalities of the Island of Montreal were amalgamated, and the Metropolitan Community created.
The responses of urban areas to globalization have been many and varied. The ever increasing flows of trade, capital, information, and people have forced a re-thinking of the way in which urban areas are governed and managed. Senior levels of government, in an effort to capture increased economic activity, are endeavouring to find ways in which to improve the attractiveness and competitiveness of cities. In Canada this has taken the form of creating super-municipalities through the forced amalgamation of suburban local governments with central cities. This has been the case for Toronto, Hamilton, Ottawa, Halifax, Quebec City and Montreal to name but a few. These new cities have responsibilities in the areas of economic development, urban planning, cultural and social development, environmental control and infrastructure provision, although these are partially shared with provincial governments. Some of the changes are directly in line with ?new regionalist? philosophy, but some are particularly Canadian.

This study examines the responses of the urban region of Montreal to globalization, and briefly compares events to those in Toronto and Ottawa. My personal involvement is one of university researcher: I have already published on other aspects of change in the region. The case of Montreal is particularly interesting (a) because power is shared between the new city and the old arrondissements and former suburban municipalities, (b) because a regional Metropolitan Community has been set up to manage supra-city concerns, including urban sprawl and social housing, and (c) because a newly elected provincial government promises to review the forced mergers, by holding referenda.
governance, planning, Montreal
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