The *beauty* of all urban interventions should be of primary concern. All governmental actors ought to insist upon a coherent masterplanned vision for the area, exceeding international best practices, and rigorously apply such vision. The striking ugliness of much contemporary development in downtown Montreal should alarm us all. As this is one of the only undeveloped remaining portions of the downtown core, it is essential that the government be a responsible steward of this land. As the Griffintown and former Children's Hospital site debacles illustrated, government must not only take responsibility for establishing urban planning goals, but must hold all actors (including itself) accountable to meeting such goals on a continuing basis.
The vision for this area must include:
1) Beauty, as an explicit criterion
2) Ambition on a global scale (inspired by Habitat '67), making this area a showcase for Montreal's excellence
3) Attractive social/affordable/family housing meeting Passivhaus standards, inspired by such examples as the Goldsmith Street council housing development in Norwich, England, designed by architects Mikhail Riches and Cathy Hawley, recently awarded the Royal Institute of British Architects's Stirling Prize.
4) Intelligent density, using creative design strategies (which may include either narrower streets with a greater density of low-rise buildings, and/or smaller building footprints but increased tower-like heights, depending on each site's potential) to maximize the number of residents and workers while creating an inviting cityscape that is enjoyable in all seasons.
5) Stringent environmental standards
6) Respect for the genius loci
7) Civic assets such as squares & libraries
8) An international masterplan design competition
9) A continuous masterplan implementation enforcement mechanism
10) Audacity in design, including the use of noble materials