The Power of Urban Parks: May 26 & 27, 2021

Together with les amis de la montagne, and in partnership with le Centre d'écologie urbaine de Montréal and le Conseil régional en environnement de Montréal, Park People is hosting the first-ever Montreal Park Forum on May 26 and 27 to officially launch the Montreal Network.


The Forum is a free online event for Montreal’s park enthusiasts, community park groups urban planning and park professionals and non-profit organizations dedicated to city parks.


The Forum will officially launch the Montreal Park People Network, a dedicated space to strengthen community engagement, network, and share our expertise, knowledge and experience to activate these essential urban green spaces. 


All activities will be held in French. Adrian Benepe's Keynote Presentation (in English) will be offered with French simultaneous interpretation.



Opening Breakfast: Early bird breakfast


Wednesday, May 26, 2021, from 8:00 to 9:00 am EST


Join together with urban park enthusiasts from across the Island of Montreal.

This early morning session will allow you to connect with the many key stakeholders involved in Montreal urban parks.

Share your favourite parks and park issues and join this dynamic networking session to start the day off right with us!


Register for the breakfast 



Keynote Conference : Activate the power of city parks


Wednesday, May 26, 2021, from 12:00 pm to 2:00 pm EST


Adrien Benepe and Nathalie Boucher, a New Yorker and Montrealer, will address the many benefits of urban parks, the importance of partnership and governance models and how parks can best serve their communities.

The two dynamic speakers will highlight the value of parks for our city and communities.



The keynote speakers


Adrian Benepe

Currently, the President of the New York Botanical Garden, Adrian Benepe was formerly Senior Vice-President and Director of National Programs for The Trust for Public Land and former Commissioner of the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation (2002-2012).

In his last tenure, he oversaw a major expansion of New York City's park system by establishing a culture of collaboration involving community groups, the City and the private sector.

He has an inspiring perspective on the value of this collaboration in planning and managing a park system that is responsive to community needs and city government responsibilities.


Nathalie Boucher

Director of R.Es.P.I.R.E., Nathalie holds a Master’s degree in Anthropology from Laval University and a Ph.D. in Urban Studies from the Urbanisation Culture Société Research Centre (Centre Urbanisation Culture Société) in Montréal.

Throughout her professional career as an anthropologist, she has worked on various topics in places such as Andhra Pradesh (India), Mashteuiatsh, Nitassinan (Quebec) and Managua (Nicaragua). When addressing issues in public spaces and interactions between their users, she draws on social geography, the anthropology of communication and urban sociology. She is passionate about writing and teaching on and experimenting with, new methodologies associated with the urban dwellers.

She has a soft spot for the Parc Jean-Drapeau, in the middle of the St. Lawrence River, for its contrasts between crowds and solitude, past and present, and city and nature.


Register for the conference



Discussion panel: Equity and Environmental Justice in Montreal 


Thursday, May 27, 2021, from 12:00 pm to 2:00 pm EST


How can we ensure that all Montrealers have equitable access to city parks and that parks meet the real needs of communities?

Four local experts will showcase their perspectives on the challenges and opportunities for equity and environmental justice in Montreal’s city parks.

Climate change, public health, social inclusion, and community engagement will all be actively discussed and will contribute to this important collective reflection. 


The panellists 


Jérôme Dupras - Canada Research Chair in Ecological Economics, co-founder of the Mouvement Ceinture Verte

The arts, sciences and the environment all intersect in the life of Jérôme Dupras. Following a Ph.D. in Geography and a post-doctorate in Biology, he teaches in the Department of Natural Sciences of the Université du Québec en Outaouais, where he holds the Canada Research Chair in Ecological Economics.

On the Francophone music scene, he is a member of the well-known band called the Cowboys Fringants.

He is active in numerous environmental causes and is, among other things, Chair of the Fondation des Cowboys Fringants, a co-founder of the Mouvement Ceinture Verte, a founder of Artistes pour le climat and a columnist with CKOI radio.


Lourdenie Jean - Founder of “L’environnement, c’est intersectionnel

Graduate from Lionel-Groulx College in 2017, Lourdenie is passionate about social sciences, mainly sociology, psychology and anthropology. She is currently strengthening her experience in the field by working in the community sector. In the past few years, she invested her time into personal projects as well, such as L’environnement, c’est intersectionnel (The environment is intersectional), an initiative that combines arts, social engagement and popular education.

Intersectional feminist, speaker and community worker, she focuses on anything that touches sociology, inclusion and social justice.


Anne Pelletier - Agente de planification programmation recherche, Service Environnement urbain et Saines habitudes de vie, Direction régionale de santé publique du CIUSSS du Centre Sud de Montréal (Regional Public Health Department of the Integrated University Centre for Health and Social Services)

Anne Pelletier has worked at the Direction régionale de santé publique of the CIUSSS du Centre-Sud-de-l'Île-de-Montréal (Regional Public Health Department of the Integrated University Centre for Health and Social Services) since 2008, in the Environnement urbain et saines habitudes de vie (Urban Environment and Healthy Living) department. She holds a Master’s and a B.A. in Kinesiology from Université de Montréal.

Her interests include the health impacts of active transportation and the design of active cities. In particular, she contributed to the development of the draft versions of PPASSAGE, a tool that can be used to assess walkability.

She has led and contributed to a number of research projects linking public health and urban planning, one of the most recent of which addresses the issue of the accessibility of Montréal parks.


Michel Lafleur - Coalition des amis du parc Jarry President

Michel Lafleur has lived in the Villeray neighbourhood for almost 30 years. Convinced of the positive impact of green spaces on the quality of life of the residents, he has been an active member of the Coalition des amis du parc Jarry since its inception in 2004 and has been its Chair since 2010. His journey of civic engagement is a source of inspiration for many!


Moderated by


Karel Mayrand - President and CEO of the Foundation of Greater Montréal.

Karel Mayrand is the President and CEO of the Foundation of Greater Montréal.

Before that, he has been for twelve years Director-General for Quebec and the Atlantic with the David Suzuki Foundation, and chair of Al Gore’s Climate Reality Project in Canada.

He is also Vice-President of the board of Société du Parc Jean-Drapeau.

Karel is co-author of Demain, le Québec (Éditions La Presse, 2018), author of Une Voix pour la Terre (Boréal, 2012), co-author of Ne renonçons à rien (Lux, 2017) with the Faut qu’on se parle collective. He frequently contributes columns and op eds for l’Actualité and La Presse.

Register for the panel



Online after-work: It is your turn to activate the power of urban parks!


Thursday, May 27, 2021, from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm EST


Join us for an after-work session on the future of Montreal’s urban parks. 

Choose one of four  discussions to pursue in greater depth: 

Moderated by four key partners in the Montreal Park Network, come ready to share your thoughts and discuss with other attendees. 

Come and chat with other attendees about the park issues you care about!

Register for the cocktail

Generously supported by

TD Ready Commitment

Secrétariat à la région métropolitaine du ministère des Affaires municipales et de l’Habitation

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