August 19, 2007
by Canadian Architect
The Commerce Design Montral Contest has been chosen as one of the 48 best practices from among 703 entries from 88 countries as part of the 2006 Dubai International Award for Best Practices to Improve the Living Environment by UN-HABITAT.
The Dubai International Award for Best Practices to Improve the Living Environment recognizes outstanding projects to improve the living environment, in a remarkable and sustainable way. Best practices were defined by the United Nations and the international community as successful initiatives which: have a demonstrable and tangible impact on improving peoples quality of life; are the result of effective partnership between the public, private and civic sectors of society; are socially, culturally, economically and environmentally sustainable.
Firmly rooted in Montrals culture and public image, commercial design now provides leverage for sustainable integration in the areas of economic development, quality of life and environment, and social and urban identity. Backed by this integrated vision of urban development, Montreal now has the benefit of a network of structuring partners able to mobilize multiple resources and reach and involve a broad public base well beyond the design sector.
The Commerce Design Montral operation is a meaningful model of sustainable urban development because of its efforts to restore and reuse the old urban fabric, maintain local services and promote a social and cultural mix of central neighbourhoods. Recognition by the United Nations of this Montreal initiative in the field of design supports Montreals designation as a UNESCO City of Design, as well as the sustained efforts by the city to enhance quality design at businesses over the past 10 years, said Mr. Benoit Labont, member of the executive committee responsible for culture, heritage, downtown and design.
The Commerce Design Montral concept ran from 1995 to 2004 to raise awareness among business owners of the benefits of investing in quality design for their establishments with the help of a qualified professional. The main objective was to create a domino effect, convince other business owners of the merits of inspiring design to improve business and promote the revitalization of commercial streets.
Thanks to the programs success with the community and the media, Montreal is now exporting the concept and transferring expertise. Since 2003, five licenses have been granted to the cities of Trois-Rivires, Saint-tienne, the Chamber of Commerce and industry of Marseille and Lyon in France, and Times Square in New York.
In 2005, following a call for proposals involving major design organizations in Montreal, the mission to continue to revitalize business design, which was first introduced by the city with the Commerce Design Montral Contest, was transferred to Crativit Montral.
Commerce Design Montral is now part of the 2,700 best practices in 140 countries. For more information, please visit www.bestpractices.org