Montréal, Canada

Artwork by NIPPAYSAGE et Société du parc Jean-Drapeau

Implementation, Impact and Replicability

How does the initiative demonstrate evidence of a track record of success against pursued objectives?          

The development of the Master Plan allowed for the establishment of initial targets and indicators as well as a preliminary sequencing of projects. Since beginning the Plan’s implementation, this outcome has been used to establish a management dashboard that provides an initial impetus for the SPJD’s data collection and performance measurement efforts.

Throughout the Master Plan’s implementation period, the SPJD will ensure that the monitoring tools and targets are adapted to meet the expectations of Montréal society, consider realities beyond its control, and seize opportunities that will enable it to surpass the ambitions of the Master Plan. To ensure that the public interest is respected, this adjustment work must be done within the framework of open governance, which necessarily implies transparency of the process and consultation with stakeholders. In addition, SPJD will undertake a periodic review of the indicators to ensure their relevance. At that time, it will detail the objectives to be achieved over the following three years.

All the targeted performance indicators can be found in Chapter 8 (page 644) of the Parc Jean-Drapeau Master Plan 2020-2030.

How has the initiative had a ripple effect beyond the scope of the initiative itself, thereby demonstrating a change in the city’s and/or its partners’ way of working with plants?

Protecting biodiversity and ecosystem health is a global challenge and urban parks have an important role to play. Parks enhance the resilience of cities and contribute to the ecological integrity of our environment by creating opportunities for people to connect with nature in urban areas and by maintaining certain ecosystem services. Due to climate change and the search for greater resilience, large parks are becoming important to public authorities. Park administrators are called upon to rethink the aesthetics, move away from a traditional horticultural approach and toward sustainable management practices that improve plant habitats.

The Master Plan strongly emphasizes protecting natural and man-made landscapes and adopts an adaptive ecological design approach through extensive planting and by restricting access to fragile natural areas. This is the first example of its kind where preservation of the park’s heritage is combined with a contemporary design and the implementation of a complex plant system.  A variety of plant habitat types are being created or enhanced: a three-layered stratified forest, shrublands, wetlands, prairies, mixed lawn areas with isolated trees and ornamental gardens.

The Plan outlines a new land management vision centred on both heritage and green infrastructure as means to respond to climate change. The park’s management strategy for green and blue spaces, which promotes plant diversity, is influencing the practices of municipal departments that seeking to learn more about our vision, processes, and practices. In addition, by implementing sustainable land use guidelines, the island partners must also implement these more environmentally friendly practices.

How have other cities expressed interest in the initiative, or what potential does it have to interest other cities and be customised to their own circumstances?

The Master Plan, bold and ambitious in its vision and its outcome-driven proposals, has established itself as a model in Montréal and an example for others to follow. Representatives from SPJD have been invited to present the Master Plan at several conferences, notably the World Urban Parks Congress and The Nature of Cities Festival.
The SPJD also shares its initiatives through multiple discussion and exchange spaces bringing together, among others, municipalities, institutional organizations, and non-profit parks organisations. Issues such as responsible procurement, low-impact event organization, responsible waste management aiming at zero waste and carbon neutrality are addressed. The objective is not only to inform and promote our targets and practices in terms of sustainable development, but also to mobilize these institutional actors to work toward ecological and social transition.
The Master Plan was also developed in accordance with the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and the orientations and commitments of the City of Montréal (ex. C40 Cities commitments). In fact, the City’s Climate Action Plan, Nature and Sports Plan and Urban Agriculture Strategy were all launched following the adoption of the Parc Jean Drapeau Master Plan. The City of Montréal’s Ecological Transition and Resilience Bureau is particularly inspired by the Master Plan and has initiated a collaboration with our organization.