A think tank is created to shed light on urban planning and development policy in Montréal.
Montréal, 14 October 2009 — Phyllis Lambert, architect, Founding Director and Chair of the Board of Trustees of the CCA, Dimitri Roussopoulos, founder of the Montréal Urban Ecology Centre, and Dinu Bumbaru, Policy Director of Héritage Montréal, announced today the creation of a think tank, the Institut de politiques alternatives de Montréal (IPAM). This citizens’ initiative seeks to contribute to viable urban planning in Montréal, to its economic and sustainable development, and local democracy. As an independent and multidisciplinary organisation, IPAM has been formed to play a key role over the long term in the municipal debate on policy choices leading to an equitable and prosperous society.
The economic, social and ecological challenges to urban development require an open-minded dialogue accessible to all sectors of Montréal society. IPAM is created as a think tank, a research centre, and an open public forum where different publics can meet, exchange ideas, and debate. It will act to provide a way for civil society to contribute its own innovative solutions alongside those of municipal bodies to help shape Montréal’s long-term future.
“The considerable impact of economic development in the City of Montréal and the megaprojects it has proposed, clearly indicate that we are currently at a major crossroad,” said Phyllis Lambert. “The establishment of IPAM is essential: for it is clear that everyone that makes up the city’s civil society must understand and agree on a definition and parameters of city planning, and they must share a clear vision of their rightful place in a permanent, constructive, democratic and effective dialogue with political decision-makers.”
An independent, multidisciplinary, and inclusive organisation, IPAM’s purpose is to play a key role in the municipal debate on policy choices leading to an equitable and prosperous society. IPAM’s intention is to contribute the expertise of individuals from different spheres within the community.
“By combining the strengths and expertise of a wide range of specialists in complementary fields of activity both locally and from elsewhere, including university research, business, socioeconomics, neighbourhood roundtables, ethnic communities, and environmental NGOs, we will create a centre of reference composed of people who will mobilise around issue of sociology, economy, democracy and physical planning related to urban development and recommend courses of action for the municipal administration in each of these areas,” added Dimitri Roussopoulos.
According to Dinu Bumbaru, “With the City about to update the Urban Master Plan, Montreal needs a framework that integrates urban planning, economic planning and sustainable development, which is why IPAM will establish six working groups to tackle questions of long-term economic and cultural development: heritage, poverty, social housing and social justice, ecology, urban planning and transportation, and democracy.”
IPAM’s work will concentrate on the following two activities:
- Dissemination information and holding public debates by organizing public forums, conferences and seminars concerning a great variety of challenges in urban planning.
- Monitoring the municipal administration’s activities through annual evaluation of the annual reports of the Ville de Montréal on urban planning, and of the Office de consultation publique de Montréal, and the Ombudsman’s report.
As a first initiative IPAM will, the day after the elections, call on the new City Administration to hold a citizens’ summit on the future of Montréal in partnership with civil society, permitting an exchange of ideas and experience, in order to help to establish the guidelines for the administration`s new mandate.