Last March, the Office de consultation publique de Montréal (OCPM) held public consultations regarding the update to Université de Montréal and affiliated schools’ (HEC Montréal and Polytechnique Montréal) mountain campus Master Development Plan.To contribute to making this master plan exemplary, Les amis de la montagne submitted a brief containing 17 recommendations touching on conservation of the natural and built heritage and accessibility to the mountain. In their recently released report, OPCM commissioners made 23 recommendations that were influenced by more than ten of the proposals put forward by Les amis.
The mountain’s natural environments are particularly vulnerable as they are located in the heart of the city. For this reason, the OPCM reiterates the importance of respecting the mountain's "limited capacity" to accommodate new construction. It recommends that the University assess the impacts on the carrying capacity of ecosystems and the connectivity of natural environments that will be impacted by the expansion of the Faculty of Music building and the Polytechnique Montréal's ingénierie durable et de l’économie circulaire building. The report also recommends that a conclusive analysis be carried out regarding the enhancement and protection of views of and from Mount Royal, to ensure a harmonious integration of these building expansions into the mountain landscape. Les amis is pleased, as they had stressed the need to ensure that the built environment is consolidated in a way that respects significant and interesting buildings as well as views and landscapes.

The commission also recommends that the City include provisions in its specific by-law to improve the management of used snow, including prohibiting disposal sites near natural areas, woodlots and natural drainage ditches. Les amis de la montagne has initiated a community of practice on ecological snow management that brings together the major institutions of Mount Royal, in which the University and its affiliated schools participate. Les amis is aware that this issue is at the heart of their concerns and hopes that ambitious actions will emerge from it.

Les amis de la montagne also points out that the OCPM would like to see the targeted 10% reduction in parking spaces on the site increased significantly through periodical reviews, and the integration of eco-responsible development criteria for the rehabilitation of each surface parking lot. Les amis also supports the idea of shifting the modal share from the car to alternative transport as it is in line with our vision of accessibility for the mountain.
Finally, we are pleased to note that the commission recommends that the University collaborate with the City to improve accessibility to Mount Royal’s parks through pedestrian pathways from the metro and the future REM stations. This recommendation is in line with the work being done by the Bureau du Mont-Royal, in consultation with the mountain's partners, to develop a global vision for accessibility to Mount Royal. 

The future of this large institutional complex is one of the main issues related to the protection and enhancement of Mount Royal. Les amis is proud to have participated in the consultation process led by Université de Montréal as well as in the OCPM's public consultation, and to have contributed to the making of informed decisions to ensure the mountain's long-term sustainability.
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