Montréal in Common: The city as a laboratory

Last updated February 23, 2023
Reading time: 2 min

Montréal in Common aims to build a city that reflects its population. This community of innovation is experimenting with concrete solutions to mobility, food and municipal legislation issues. Its objective is to test out ideas to improve the quality of life in our neighbourhoods.

Innovating and redesigning the city with the community

Montréal in Common is developing a culture of innovation and experimentation based on community needs. Through this program, tangible solutions that the community imagines can be quickly implemented and tested with residents. Neighbourhood partners are at the centre of the process, engaged in the collective moment to redesign the city by accelerating social inclusion and its ecological transition. They develop projects and the city acts as a facilitator.

Supported projects took shape as part of the Smart Cities Challenge, a pan-Canadian competition that encourages communities to improve the lives of their inhabitants through innovation, data and technology. Montréal in Common aims to take these projects further and sustain them in order to improve the populations well-being and quality of life. 

Ideas that are developed through the community can be tested through this experience. Barriers to innovation can be identified and learning can be shared in order to inspire the Montréal community to take action.

Three components, 13 tangible projects

As part of Montréal in Common, the city is working with partners to test 13 innovative projects divided into three components:

  • Mobility:
    • Reducing local solo automobile trips
    • Offering more sustainable mobility options
    • Simplifying access to sustainable mobility solutions 
    • Improving the efficiency and comfort of sustainable transportation
  • Food:
    • Increasing efficiency of community organizations that distribute food
    • Improving access to healthy, local food for vulnerable populations
    • Sharing mutual resources to feed everybody 
    • Reducing waste along the food distribution chain
  • Data and municipal legislation:
    • Adapting legislation to encourage innovation and resident participation 
    • Facilitating cooperation in the community and access to data 
    • Measuring the impact of our actions more closely to make more informed decisions
    • Testing new democratic mechanisms 

The 13 Montréal in Common projects are being implemented through a $50 million award from the government of Canada as part of the Smart Cities Challenge.


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The topics covered include:

  • urban mobility
  • access to food
  • data sharing
  • innovation for the benefit of the community