Changes in Role of Networks: The Example of Two Major Projects in the Montreal Region

Special Report: Public Action in Montreal and Los Angeles
By Ludwig Desjardins, Michel Gariépy


Combining three elements, namely, major infrastructure networks, urban projects and public participation, the paper examines the recent development of two Quebec technical networks through the analysis of two recent projects that took place in the Montreal region: the upgrading of the Notre-Dame boulevard by the Quebec Ministry of Transportation, the Suroît power station of Hydro-Québec. The debate surrounding these projects brought under question the structure of the networks, in particular, how the privatization of some components might bring about changes to networks that had fallen almost exclusively within the public realm until recently. And the framework for their regulation was also forced to evolve. Although an environmental assessment and public hearings were conducted for each of them, the ensuing public debate extended much beyond the procedural arena demarcated by the government. More globally, this development evidenced changes in the governance of networks.
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