Overcoming legislative obstacles to innovation

Last updated June 17, 2021
Reading time: 2 min

The Laboratoire d’innovation civique pour l’expérimentation réglementaire is a participatory space that supports mobility and food security initiatives. Its objective is to help local legislation evolve in order to promote social innovation in Montréal.

The Civic Innovation Laboratory for Legislative Experiments (LICER for short), which is led by the Maison de l’innovation sociale and is supported by the city, is experimenting with new approaches and developing new mechanisms to develop and revise municipal legislation. Its aim is to promote the advancement of projects that strive to meet the social and environmental needs of communities. 

In partnership with the ENAP Cité-ID Living Lab and Dark Matter Labs, the laboratory is targeting issues and opportunities around municipal by-laws. Its goal is to change the rules of the game in order to eliminate legislative impediments that some projects face. 

For example, as part of the Compost Your Car project being led by the Laboratoire sur l’agriculture urbaine and Solon, LICER is guiding a legislative experiment in Rosemont–La Petite-Patrie to transform temporary car shelters into greenhouses.

Bringing people together to experiment

The LICER offers research and collaboration spaces to organizations that are working on social and environmental challenges in Montréal. Its role is to experiment with alternative pathways for projects that help people in the community get food and get around town. 

The laboratory needs residents to participate in order to transform the way local laws that hinder innovative projects are being adopted and revised. 

For example, the laboratory is currently advising public bodies on zoning and building issues around building urban greenhouses.

Revisiting the role of cars in public space 

The LICER aims to support the development of innovative projects with an approach based on collaboration, experimentation and learning. By involving people from different backgrounds to revisit urban issues, the laboratory is helping to accelerate the ecological transition and stimulate creativity. It’s offering tangible, realistic and inclusive solutions to public decision-makers in order to adapt legislation so that it does not hinder innovation.

At present, we are facing a number of complex crises, from climate change to social inequality. We know that we need to not only change the rules of the game, but the ways of establishing these rules and the ways that they evolve.

Montréal in Common

Montréal in Common is an innovation community led by the city. Its partners are experimenting with solutions to food access, mobility and municipal legislation with a view to redesigning the city.  Montréal in Common projects are made possible by the Government of Canada as part of the Smart Cities Challenge.