Save Griffintown!

Un Fait Accompli by ajkandy
November 28, 2007, 3:34 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

What’s been bothering many people (myself included) about the Village Griffintown project was the secrecy with which the project was developed; the project was presented pretty much as a fait accompli. Word on the street says they want to have the public consultation process wrapped up by April, so there’s a very small window of time for people to organize any sort of response.

There was a semi-publicized event months ago called “Les Dialogues du Griffintown,” but that was essentially a confab for invited architects, urban planning agencies and other professionals; the public wasn’t welcome.

Furthermore, I understand that it’s largely a private project and thus the choice of urban design agency wasn’t open to public tenders or a design competition, but I can’t help thinking that one would have helped the project immensely. A New Urbanist-style charrette would have been even better.
Virtually next door to Village Griffintown is the Quartier International de Montreal, an immensely successful, beautiful and well-planned urban redesign project that the public actually loves, by all accounts. This should be the standard for other projects in the area. I rather wish that the same design consortia had been retained for this project, rather than the team that rather inelegantly grafted a Loblaws onto the Parc Avenue metro stop and bandaged it with flowerbeds afterwards.

1 Comment

From the plans and talk, Griffintown Village holds a lot of weight. I’m putting together a story for my broadcast class (Journalism, Concordia) about the project.
Through the PR and researchers hired by the city I’ve found quite a few supportive voices of the project, I’m looking to balance things out.
I was wondering if anyone would care to comment, or could possibly point me in the right direction- it would be great to hear from some locals and some of the affected businesses.

My two cents on the project: The comparisons to the Atwater Notre-Dame area speak strongly of the potential for individuals to embrace and develop their neighborhoods.
I feel as though we’ll be observing a shift back to the cities from the suburbs. It’s unfortunate that we’ve let something as sub-urban as this project move downtown as well. Let it be an example that there is much potential in our neighborhoods and we must help them out before big developers help themselves.

It’s good to see that the project has stuffed the parking underground and that there will be various types of housing for varied incomes. The more positive aspects of the project most likely are due to active citizens playing watchdog.


Comment by Michael Connors

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