COMMERCE DESIGN MONTREAL CONTEST CHOSEN FOR THE 2006 DUBAI INTERNATIONAL AWARD FOR BEST PRACTICES TO IMPROVE THE LIVING ENVIRONMENT

20 August 2007
Montreal (Canada) - Mr. Benoit Labonte is pleased to announce that the Commerce Design Montreal Contest has been chosen as one of the 48 best practices as part of the 2006 Dubai International Award for Best Practices to Improve the Living Environment by UN-HABITAT.
Montreal (Canada) - Mr. Benoit Labonte, member of the executive committee responsible for culture, heritage, downtown and design is pleased to announce that the Commerce Design Montreal Contest has been chosen as one of the 48 best practices from among 703 entries from 88 countries as part of the 2006 Dubai International Award for Best Practices to Improve the Living Environment by UN-HABITAT.

The Dubai International Award for Best Practices to Improve the Living Environment recognises outstanding projects to improve the living environment, in a remarkable and sustainable way. Best practices were defined by the United Nations and the international community as successful initiatives which:

- Have a demonstrable and tangible impact on improving people's quality of life.
- Are the result of effective partnership between the public, private and civic sectors of society.
- Are socially, culturally, economically and environmentally sustainable.

Firmly rooted in Montreal's culture and public image, commercial design now provides leverage for sustainable integration in the areas of economic development, quality of life and environment, and social and urban identity. Backed by this integrated vision of urban development, Montreal now has the benefit of a network of structuring partners able to mobilize multiple resources and reach and involve a broad public base well beyond the design sector.

"The Commerce Design Montreal operation is a meaningful model of sustainable urban development because of its efforts to restore and reuse the old urban fabric, maintain local services and promote a social and cultural mix of central neighbourhoods. Recognition by the United Nations of this Montreal initiative in the field of design supports Montreal's designation as a UNESCO City of Design, as well as the sustained efforts by the city to enhance quality design at businesses over the past 10 years," said Mr. Labonte.

Commerce Design Montreal: an exportable concept
The Commerce Design Montreal concept extended from 1995 to 2004, to raise awareness among business owners of the benefits of investing in quality design for their establishments, with the help of a qualified professional. The main objective was to create a domino effect, convince other business owners of the merits of inspiring design to improve business and promote the revitalization of commercial streets.

Thanks to the program's success with the community and the media, Montreal is now exporting the concept and transferring expertise. Since 2003, five licenses have been granted to the cities of Trois-Rivieres, Saint-Etienne, the Chamber of Commerce and industry of Marseille and Lyon in France, and Times Square in New York.

In 2005, following a call for proposals involving major design organisations in Montreal, the mission to continue to revitalise business design, which was first introduced by the city with the Commerce Design Montreal Contest, was transferred to Creativite Montreal.

Commerce Design Montreal is now part of the 2,700 best practices in 140 countries. Please visit www.bestpractices.org



For further information please contact:

Stephanie Jecrois
Design Montreal
T: +1 514 872-5388
E: