More than one-half mile of elevated expressway was demolished in the heart of downtown Montréal to make way for a spectacular ground-level urban boulevard and over six acres of continuous public space, bookended by two monumental sculptures.
For more than 50 years, the elevated Bonaventure Expressway, built in 1966, cut across the city centre of Montréal, a thriving metropolis located on an archipelago in the middle of the majestic St. Lawrence River. This thoroughfare was a major gateway to the downtown core, accommodating more than 27,000 vehicles per day, including 1,900 buses. Rather than extending the service life of the aging structure, the city opted for a large-scale redevelopment, the first one of its kind in Canada, thereby making it possible to:
- Create an elegant, functional and people-oriented gateway to downtown Montréal
- Mesh together districts that were isolated by the elevated expressway
- Support private mixed-use development in the area
This bold initiative, spearheaded entirely by the City’s administration, forms the backbone of the Bonaventure Project which was completed on time and on budget (CAN$141.7 million).
In addition, Montréal was recently named Canada’s first recipient of a SITES certification, awarded by the Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI) to honour the excellence demonstrated in implementing the innovative, sustainability-minded best practices that characterize the Bonaventure Project.
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Tufts University Department of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning
City of Grand Forks, North Dakota
HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research
City of Birmingham, Alabama
City of Laramie, Wyoming
Colorado Department of Local Affairs
This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.