Urban highways are unique windows from which to grasp a city’s identity. They can however be responsible for the fragmentation of cities and the degradation of their adjacent living environments. As many urban highways are aging, concerns about their redevelopment, upgrading or dismantling are emerging in many cities of the World. By examining the meaning as well as the opportunities offered by urban gateway corridors, the book attempts to offer a unique perspective on issues related this emerging landscape and transportation issue. More specifically, the book aims to describe the innovative approach to landscape infrastructure planning that was used for the YUL-MTL: Moving Landscapes initiative held in Montreal. Over two years, this initiative combined a design competition and a workshop with collaborative efforts between 20 public agencies to rethink a 17 km stretch of Montreal’s Autoroute 20 gateway corridor. Linking the downtown area to Montreal-Trudeau international airport, the corridor is mainly composed of transport infrastructures and industrial wastelands in dire need of revitalization along with residential areas. The book presents the collaborative process behind the development of a strategic vision for the area, exposes the winning entries of the competition and describes the subsequent steps that resulted in an "atlas of possibilities" for the future of the area. It provides a broad overview of the main challenges facing any project leader who wishes to gather a wide range of stakeholders towards a common goal: building a shared consensus over the prospective development of large-scale infrastructure projects. It also provides the reader with a diversity of actions and solutions to improve the landscape of transportation corridors and their integration within their surrounding environment. Hence, as the book details the local context of Montreal’s infrastructural landscapes, it also offers insights and ideas to improve urban highway integration for cities worldwide. Throughout the book, the permanent bond between cities and infrastructures is not only explored through the lens of landscape preservation but also landscape enhancement and development. This three-pronged approach offers a strategy based on the exploration of gateway corridor landscapes for what they are but also for what they could and should be. As the collaborative process allowed for clarifying the local stakeholders’ standpoint, the design exercises (ideas competition and workshop) were used as tools to improve the outcomes on the latters. The contribution of the designers particularly helped materializing the strategic framework that resulted from the collaborative process through the addition of design guidelines. Overall, the book shows how the consideration of the landscape when it comes to development projects offers not only a rich contextual knowledge from a transversal and multidisciplinary perspective but also becomes a vector for the coherent planning of infrastructures and their integration within adjacent territories and within the city.
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About the Author
Patrick Marmenis a research officer at the Chair in Landscape and Environmental Design and studio instructor at the School of Landscape architecture of the University of Montreal. Primarily interested in developing and improving the urban planning mechanisms that promote design quality in architecture and urban design, he was the professional advisor for theYUL/MTL: Moving Landscapesinternational ideas competition. He holds a Master in architecture fromLavalUniversity.