Skip to main content

Supporting the possibilities of urban commoning in Montreal’s Champ des Possibles

Researchers: Amy R. Poteete and Nik Luka


  • Urban residents around the world regularly reclaim abandoned industrial sites and refashion them to reflect their own needs and values. “Commoning”—practices to sustain shared access to, control over, and care for resources and spaces—offers a broadly participatory, inclusive, and flexible alternative to standard urban planning, but is difficult to achieve and sustain.
  • The Champ des Possibles, an urban prairie that has emerged on an abandoned railyard in Montreal and exemplifies the challenges associated with urban post-industrial sites. Gentrification and associated transformations threaten widely-held preference for maintaining the Champ as a "wild" green space and prioritizing its recreational, environmental, and artistic potential.
  •  In partnership with Les Amis du Champ des Possibles, we aim to develop processes to support commoning and limit the exclusion of stakeholders and loss of flexibility so often associated with urban planning.

Output so far:

Poteete, Amy R., Nik Luka, Clément Badra, and Valentina Samoylenka. 2021. “Occupying, Caring for, and Commoning Urban Public Space in Montréal’s Champ des Possibles.” International Association for the Study of the Commons 2021 Urban Commons Virtual Conference, 6 – 8 May 2021. 

Trost, Karlo, Nik Luka, Amy R. Poteete, Valentina Samoylenka, Dominique Boulet-Garuk, and Camille Forrest. 2021.  Soutenir les possibilités de mise en commun urbaine dans le Champ des Possibles de Montréal : Rapport d’étape – Annexe technique / Supporting the Possibilities of Urban Commoning in Montréal’s Champ des Possibles: Progess Report – Technical Annex. Montreal: School of Urban Planning, McGill University. 

Back to top

© Concordia University