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New Technologies in Old Neighbourhoods : Breaking Off with History? A Montreal Case Study


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Poitras, Claire (2005). New Technologies in Old Neighbourhoods : Breaking Off with History? A Montreal Case Study Working Paper. Institut national de la recherche scientifique, Montréal.

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Heritage districts are considered to be one of a city’s most valuable assets. During the 1990s, industrial heritage sites became a key element in cities’ strategies to attract new high-tech firms and, more specifically, small multimedia firms. Researchers have argued that cities retaining these historical districts are better able to attract multimedia firms. Drawing on this trend, the Government of Québec in 1998 launched a major redevelopment project in Montréal called the Multimedia City. This real estate project was aimed to create new jobs in the growing information technology sector and revitalize an abandoned industrial and warehousing district strategically located near the city’s downtown core and historic quarter. Considered by many as an example “that works” – a “success story” – this project was unique in North America because it used job creation as a tool to redevelop a once blighted area. It is interesting to look at how the images of the neighbourhood had to be completely redefined in order to convince people to move into the area. The objective of this paper is to highlight the ways in which a new neighbourhood was created. By using local press reports and marketing materials, I will analyze the strategies and discourses put forward by the public and institutional players involved in the redevelopment process. How did their depiction of the project contribute to reshaping the urban landscape? I will also look at the design and architectural principles that guided the planning of the project. What images were linked to the project? How were they socially shaped? This case suggests that, while history and heritage are assets, they paradoxically had to be cast aside to make way for new representations linked to the changing urban economy.

Type de document: Monographie (Working Paper)
Informations complémentaires: This paper was presented at the XVth International Sociological Association World Congress of Sociology held in Brisbane, Australia in July 2002. I would like to thank the Fonds québécois de la recherche sur la société et la culture and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada for their financial support.
Mots-clés libres: nouvelles technologies; quartiers historiques; marketing urbain; Montréal; new technologies; industrial neighborhoods; image-making
Centre: Centre Urbanisation Culture Société
Date de dépôt: 12 nov. 2020 20:36
Dernière modification: 24 janv. 2022 21:25
URI: https://espace.inrs.ca/id/eprint/9387

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