Transformation of the Hippodrome site: Innovative planning process for an avant-garde neighbourhood in the heart of Montréal

The Mayor of Montréal, Gérald Tremblay, and the Chairman of the Montréal Executive Committee and Mayor of the Côte-des-Neiges-Notre-Dame-de-Grâce borough, Michael Applebaum,  unveiled the components of the planning process for the transformation of the Hippodrome area into an inclusive and avant-garde neighbourhood. This process, which will take place from fall 2012 to winter 2016, is based on strong community involvement to develop a shared vision of the Hippodrome Project. The process is made up of five phases: mobilization of citizens and experts, an urban design competition, development of the master plan, consultation meetings by the Office de consultation publique, and adoption of the master plan.
"Montréal is looking ahead by setting up the conditions for developing on the Hippodrome site a forward-looking urban neighbourhood designed with families and children in mind. Inspired in large part by the best sustainable development principles, the Hippodrome Project has a development potential of 5,000 to 8,000 housing units," said Mayor Tremblay. "To achieve its goals, Montréal is calling on the cooperation of citizens and civil society to help define the project. The planning process for the Hippodrome Project will be an opportunity for all to play an active role in our city's development. This project will be developed with Montrealers for Montrealers," added Mayor Tremblay.
The transformation of the Hippodrome area is a unique opportunity to build a project that will meet the aspirations of Montrealers and become an international reference in the field of urban development. "We want the future Hippodrome neighbourhood to offer a wide variety of local services and encourage mass and active transportation. We also want the neighbourhood to stand out through its quality public spaces and ecological site management. By becoming the owner of the Hippodrome site, Montréal is well positioned to achieve its goals. The city will have sufficient time to plan the development adequately and make sure that the projects are consistent with the master plan which will be adopted at the end of the participatory planning process, which we are launching today," saidMichael Applebaum.
Mobilization of citizens and experts
This phase aims to establish a shared vision for site development, which will take into account the long-term evolution of urban lifestyles. The information gathered will be used as input for the Expert Forum to be held next December. These initial reflections will later be submitted for public debate at a reflection workshop for socio-economic key players. These activities will help define the aspirations of Montrealers and develop the design competition program, which is the subject of the next phase.
Montréal is joining forces with an advisory committee made up of well-known Montréal experts, who will work with the planning team throughout next year. This committee is made up of Florence Junca-Adenot, Université du Québec à Montréal; Fabrice Brunet, CHU Sainte-Justine; James McGregor, Groupe Habitat Conseil; Nik Luka, McGill University; Alexandre Turgeon, Vivre en ville, and Franck Scherrer, Université de Montréal.
International urban design competition 
In September 2013, Montréal will launch an international urban design competition to develop the project that best meets the aspirations of Montrealers. Networking among local and foreign companies will be encouraged to bring together the finest expertise and foster innovation and creativity. It is important that this neighbourhood reflect our talent and Montréal's UNESCO City of Design title.
Drafting the master plan
The winner of the competition will be given the mandate to draft the master plan. This document will translate, in a practical and effective manner for the entire area, the urban design concept chosen by the jury. It will determine the urban project parameters as well as the regulatory changes for plan completion.
Consultation with the OCPM throughout the process
In addition to exchanges among citizens and the civil society at the start of the process, the city gave the Office de consultation publique de Montréal (OCPM) a three-step mandate enabling Montrealers to participate actively in defining the project throughout the planning process. The first step will be held in the spring of 2013 and focus on the vision statement; the second step will be held in the fall of 2014 and focus on the premises of the master plan, and the third step, to be held in the fall of 2015, will concern the master plan.
Adoption and implementation
The adoption of the master plan and regulatory framework is scheduled for winter 2016. Implementation of the project is scheduled to begin in 2017.
For more information on how you can take part in the planning process, please visit

on October 31, 2012