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Urban Forests

How can we identify, understand, and increase urban canopy diversity and surface area?

Today’s urban areas are a restrictive environment for tree planting, as they are very demanding in relation to growth and development. It's important to promote the public and individual health benefits of trees. 

Montreal Tree Portraits

Montreal Tree Portraits is the result of a collaboration between two Moving Image classes in Communication Studies at Concordia University and the Park Management and Biodiversity Department of the Service des grands parcs, du Mont-Royal et des sports of the City of Montreal.

The first step in this collaboration was that city representatives taught the media students about the critical role of trees in an urban environment. The city team explained their campaign to expand tree canopy in the City of Montreal by 2025 and the students were challenged with the following question: How might we use short films to help cultivate awareness for the critical role of trees in our urban environments?

The classes proposed an artistic approach to the challenge wanting to illuminate the resilience, the beauty, the diversity and the critical presence of trees in Montreal. City employees proposed trees « coup de cœur » that were important to them in a variety of settings and then student film crews created portraits from this personalized list and a few other trees of their own choice.

A key insight that inspired the form of the final project was the fact that trees communicate with each other through their root systems in ways that are invisible to the human eye.

Therefore, how might this project connect and network city employees and students in new ways? And how might the resulting project inspire Montreal residents to look at trees in new ways? Montreal Tree Portraits is a collection of 25 short films that can be used in a range of public venues from classrooms to galleries with the objective of fostering tree appreciation.



  • Ville de Montréal (Service des grands parcs, du Mont-Royal et des sports de la Ville de Montréal)
  • Rita Rachele Dandavino
  • Pierre Duval
  • Johanne Lambert


  • COMS384 – Moving Images (Communication Studies)
  • Elizabeth Miller
  • Frederico Hidalgo

Students (fall 2019)

  • Caroline Armstrong
  • Alexandra Becheru
  • Louise Bittout
  • Melina Carota
  • Dean Cleaver
  • Michel Czyz
  • Shireen Dalbey
  • Ragi Ghabrial
  • Maya Huxham
  • Guillaume Knobloch
  • Cooper Lavallée-Roberts
  • Owen Lee-Mockler
  • Vanessa Levia Beaulieu
  • Jared Levy
  • Jamie Lewis-Mella
  • Evan Loft
  • Sarah Lubin
  • Massimo Mariotti
  • Connor McSweeney
  • Rebecca Mersiadis-Lavallee
  • Eve Michaud-Richmond
  • Tudor Pislariu
  • Stephanie Proctor
  • Adrian Saurel-Cameron
  • Gabriel Steed
  • Daryan Sykes
  • Shoshana Cohen
  • Sofia Cuccia
  • Rose Cunliffe
  • Justine De Tonnancourt-Côté
  • Marin DiBlasio
  • Rayan Djanati Choulabi
  • Berri Freeman
  • Éliane Godefroy de Tonnancour
  • Nico Groleau
  • Justin Hand-Gregory
  • Tova Jonas
  • Denis Kroupnik
  • Michelle Lam
  • Matthew O’Connor
  • Francesca Pensa-Stewart
  • Cecilia Piga
  • Mai Pradhan
  • Emily Rivkin
  • Alexander Sciola
  • Camille Segonne
  • Michael Selinger
  • Robyn Shaw
  • Daniel Tarsitano
  • Julia Tartagli
  • Bryan Tartal
  • Long Xi Vlessing
  • Matthew Xanthoudakis
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