Polytechnic University of Valencia Congress, 24th ISUF 2017 - City and Territory in the Globalization Age

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Contribution of planned built environments to city transformation: urban design practice in Montreal from 1956 to 2016.
Francois Racine

Last modified: 11-05-2018


Contributions to the literature on Canadian urbanism and, in particular, Canadian urban design, despite some notable exceptions, are relatively limited. The presentation explains from an urban form perspective the practice of urban design in Montreal from the mid-twentieth century onwards. The research seeks to interpret the development of urban design practice in Montreal by reviewing a representative sample of urban projects built over the past six decades. The urban projects are used to illustrate the different renewal strategies adopted, to understand how urban design ideology/ideas have changed over time in Montreal and how they have influenced the spatial organization, form, and aesthetic of the city. The principal theoretical and methodological contribution of the research is to develop a morphological framework to study and understand the physical-spatial mode of organization of planned built environments and to study their relationship to urban form (Racine 2016). The author uses this chronological investigation of the cases to reveal how each school of thoughts that has emerged in the discipline of urban design since its foundation in 1956 (Krieger, Saunders, 2009), has addressed the problems of modernist urban planning and to move the field of urban design thinking forward. The first results of our analysis show the importance of morphological and spatial relations between vernacular and planned built environments.  The morphological issue of continuity of urban space is crucial to assure a certain level of urban equity between citizens and to assure the sustainability of the development of the city as a whole.

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