MONTRÉAL, Oct. 1, 2020 /CNW Telbec/ - The Office de consultation publique de Montréal releases this morning the report on the consultation held last winter on the project involving the creation of the Namur-Hippodrome neighbourhood. The project aims to consolidate the strategic peripheral sector of the agglomeration's downtown area by intensifying and diversifying urban activities there. Taking into account its proximity to public transit access points and its strategic location, Montréal wishes to review the sector's vocation to make it a true mixed neighbourhood that contributes to the objectives of ecological resilience and the reduction of automobile use in the city. However, it is an area that has given rise to many consultations in the past and for which numerous constraints exist.
More than 2800 participations were recorded during the various stages of the consultation. The commission received and heard 135 opinions and took into consideration the answers of the 788 respondents to the online questionnaire. Because the hearing-of-opinions sessions ended on February 19, just a few weeks before the implementation of extraordinary measures made necessary by the current worldwide coronavirus pandemic, the commission's analysis did not have the benefit of the citizen's readings of the situation that will prevail post-Covid-19, and could not take into account the potential fluctuations of public opinion on many topics addressed during the consultation.
Firstly, the Office notes that the City does not present an explicit vision statement, but rather sets out five development and enhancement principles to structure the creation of the new Namur-Hippodrome neighbourhood. The five principles are directly linked with the objective of developing a neighbourhood where natural and human health in the planning of any development intervention are received positively, but differently depending on whether the opinions are expressed from a metropolitan or local perspective. The commission believes that those principles must be retained and included in a clear vision statement.
The challenge of making a neighbourhood with a low ecological and carbon-neutral footprint, innovative and conducive to the full development of a mix of households, cohabit with a more hostile environment crossed by heavy transportation infrastructures, grappling with huge traffic problems and bounded by an industrial sector, raises both enthusiasm and concerns regarding the practicality of the project. Furthermore, the orientation targeting the considerable reduction of automobile use in favour of active and public transportation was also moderately well received, based on whether respondents resided on Montréal territory or in one of the linked cities bordering on the site.
All relevant documentation as well as the report are available at the OCPM offices, at 1550 Metcalfe Street, Suite 1414, and on its Web site at ocpm.qc.ca/hippodrome.
The OCPM is an independent organization that carries out public consultation mandates entrusted to it by the Montréal City Council or Executive Committee. The consultations are used to gather citizens' opinions, primarily regarding urban and land-use planning projects under municipal jurisdiction, but they may also extend to any and all projects submitted by the Executive Committee or City Council. The OCPM was created especially so that some public consultations would be conducted by a neutral body. The consultation reports of the OCPM always include an analysis of citizens' concerns as well as specific recommendations to guide public decisions. The Office also has the mandate to recommend regulations to ensure the implementation of credible, transparent and effective consultation mechanisms in Montréal.
SOURCE Office de consultation publique de Montréal
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