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Smart communities and civic tech

How can we include civic engagement in the way smart communities are developed?

How can we design public spaces using open data to create a more resilient city and improve civic engagement?

An increase in data collection methods in recent years has created a wider variety of approaches, using the Portail données ouverte Ville de Montréal.



Finding your food source

Rootrade is an online application where neighborhood residents can find and compare produce availability/costs between grocery stores and greenhouses nearby. The user can also register with their local greenhouse, connect with other members of their greenhouse, and become a part of a network of locally-grown produce trade.

The team picked Montreal-North to pilot this project and this mostly low-income area lacks grocery stores. Their goals was to offer Rootrade as a low-cost alternative for the residents, while also acting as a grocery store map and cost-comparison app. 

To facilitate an urban grower community, registering to grow in your local greenhouse is a free process as easy as getting a library card. The only condition is to live within the walkable vicinity of the greenhouse. Rootrade makes it as easy to buy vegetables from the grocery store as it is to buy and trade with neighbours. 


Students (fall 2019)

  • Oldri Kecaj
  • Lily Cowper

Illuminated neighborhood

This project proposes that the City of Montreal’s Open Data initiative is used to construct educational data visualizations that urge residents to track their home energy use and to develop more sustainable habits.

This project consists of three complementary parts:

  1. Eco-didactic data visaualization sculptures, reflecting the energy usage per borough
  2. An online map featuring the installations
  3. Solar powered smart lighting


Students (fall 2019)

  • Anastasia Statsenko
  • Patrizio Mclellond

A Mountain Of Waste

A mountain of waste is a projection installation that will address the issue of food waste in Montreal. It is to be installed at Partenariat du Quartier des Spectacles, Place des Arts in Downtown Montreal, a main cultural district of the city.

This project brings awareness on the issue of waste management, by projecting a mountain of food waste, based on the amount of food wasted annually. Visitors can obtain more information on-site and online, via a QR code.


Students (winter 2021)

  • Kazem Hashemi
  • Karen Escalante-Rosa

Open Kitchen

Using the data on vacant buildings in the Ville-Marie borough, Open Kitchen will collect data to quantify homelessness in Montreal in a non-intrusive manner. Creating safe spaces using vacant buildings as designated venues will humanize the experience of a soup kitchen, while collecting quantitative data that will be open for the public and the government to use.

This project seeks to help the homeless population provide reliable data for the government and educate the general population about the disparity or injustice in the amount of vacant buildings in Montreal. 


Students (winter 2021)

  • Kevin Barone
  • John Mendoza

Art for All

This public art project and app work are designed to increase the number of public artworks in Montreal and provide job opportunities to artists and opportunities for business owners to hire artists to beautify their spaces.

We’re doing a call-out to artists to pitch their paint-by numbers design around our project slogan Art for All. Once we have selected the design, we will set up a community collaborative mural. The selected artist will paint their numbered template onto a wall, then we will provide paint and brushes to passerbys to contribute to the creation of the mural. 


Students (winter 2023)

  • Ella Olsen
  • Samika Prupas
  • Christie Leung

Montréal à Vélo

Montréal à Vélo is an agency that will install bicycle stations in three popular cycling areas (Parc Maisonneuve, Parc Jarry and Parc Lafontaine). At our stations cyclists can repair their bicycles at well equipped bicycle repair stations, socialize, rest and purchase food and beverages from local vendors. 

Our stations will serve as gathering hubs during bike festivals that happen in the city such as the Go Bike Montreal festival, the Tour de l'île and the Grand Prix Cycliste de Montréal.

Our goal is to expand the cyclist community within Montreal with our agency at the heart of this initiative by:

  • giving cyclists a community driven space with free access to bicycle repair tools
  • promote the use of bicycles as a preferred method for commutting by improving the experience
  • supporting local business through partnerships
  • encouraging transparent communications between the agency and its users
  • turning our stations into warm zones and encouraging biking during colder months


Students (winter 2023)

  • Edmond Peng
  • Yann Salami
  • Juju Tieman
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