Downtown Montréal's transition to a green economy
Accelerating the shift to sustainability in business practices, buildings, urban planning and mobility

The Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal is proud to present a new study entitled Downtown Montreal's transition to a green economy: accelerating the shift to sustainability in business practices, buildings, urban planning and mobility.

When it comes to the global climate crisis, downtown Montreal is on the front line, playing a dual role. While it has strengths such as the concentration of activities, the convergence of public transport lines and the mixed use of the downtown area, it also has a high level of density and congestion, and these pose major challenges when considering how best to initiate the ecological transition.

The study proposes a set of solutions that will make downtown a space for accelerating the ecological transition, based on four priority areas of intervention in the downtown area: responsible business practices, sustainable mobility, real estate and urban planning.

The analysis is based on international perspectives, on consultation with the ecosystem of organizations that are working for Greater Montreal's ecological transition, and on the numerous key players in each of the targeted areas of intervention. The proposed recommendations focus on concrete actions to be taken by public and private players in the transition:

  1. Mobilize companies to accelerate the green transition and enhance the support offered to increase the adoption of sustainable business practices
  2. Create a specialized cleantech innovation centre to capitalize on existing offerings and facilitate their marketing
  3. Optimize and accelerate the electrification of downtown freight transport
  4. Develop a downtown travel management plan with "low-emission arteries" to limit access by gasoline-powered motor vehicles
  5. Optimize the use of public and private parking spaces and relocate curbside parking
  6. Support property owners in the sustainable renovation of buildings to achieve the target of carbon neutrality by 2040
  7. Offer financial incentives and tax breaks to encourage the decarbonization of buildings, ensuring that the provincial and federal governments contribute
  8. Promote the use and development of district heating and cooling systems
  9. Apply the planning principles of smart densification to encourage the development of complete neighbourhoods, taking into account the impact of new real estate projects on the ecological performance of the downtown area
  10. Centralize and prioritize renaturalization efforts in the downtown area, and ensure their enhancement to promote adaptation to climate change and urban resilience


About the study
The study Downtown Montréal's transition to a green economy: accelerating the shift to sustainability in business practices, buildings, urban planning and mobility, led by the Chamber, documents the priority actions required to combine economic development and ecological transition in downtown Montréal. It was conducted with KPMG in Québec, as part of the "I love working downtown" initiative, and with the support of the Ministère de l'Économie, de l'Innovation et de l'Énergie.

About the "I love working downtown" initiative
"I love working downtown" is an initiative of the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal carried out with support from the Ministère de l'Économie et de l'Innovation. Its objective is to accelerate the relaunch of downtown Montréal.

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