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Montréal's Roots: Exploring the Growth of Montréal's Indoor City


  • El-Geneidy, Ahmed

    () (McGill University)

  • Kastelberger, Lisa

    () (Plania)

  • Abdelhamid, Hatem

    () (McGill University)


Indoor pedestrian pathways are increasingly common in cities worldwide. Montréal’s Indoor City is one of the most expansive indoor pedestrian networks in the world, extending for more than 32 kilometers (19.88 miles) and covering an area of twelve square kilometers (4.6 square miles) in the city’s downtown. The benefits associated with the growth of Montréal’s indoor network are numerous, including: improved access throughout the downtown; shorter pedestrian walking distances; year-round climate protection; and increased amounts of public spaces. The research described in this paper examines the historical growth of Montréal’s Indoor City, with the aim of exploring the factors that caused its rapid growth. Specifically, changes in pedestrian access to retail space over time are modeled in a geographic information system to highlight major phases in the growth of the network. This research develops a theoretical framework, constructs a comprehensive time sequence describing the growth of the Indoor City’s pedestrian network, and interprets the results to convey the lessons learned from Montréal’s planning policies towards the Indoor City. The results of this research suggest that a series of plans and administrative policies adopted by the City of Montréal over the past 45 years have had a significant impact on the growth of the Indoor City. At the same time, it is also clear that access to retail and public transit (especially the underground metro lines), as well as a loophole in the Montréal legislative system, have had significant effects on the growth of the Indoor City.

Suggested Citation

  • El-Geneidy, Ahmed & Kastelberger, Lisa & Abdelhamid, Hatem, 2011. "Montréal's Roots: Exploring the Growth of Montréal's Indoor City," The Journal of Transport and Land Use, Center for Transportation Studies, University of Minnesota, vol. 4(2), pages 33-46.
  • Handle: RePEc:ris:jtralu:0063

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Feng Xie & David Levinson, 2009. "Modeling the Growth of Transportation Networks: A Comprehensive Review," Networks and Spatial Economics, Springer, vol. 9(3), pages 291-307, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Levinson, David, 2011. "The Coevolution of Transport and Land Use: An Introduction to the Special Issue and an Outline of a Research Agenda," The Journal of Transport and Land Use, Center for Transportation Studies, University of Minnesota, vol. 4(2), pages 1-3.

    More about this item


    Access; Pedestrian; Indoor City; Underground; Retail;

    JEL classification:

    • R40 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Transportation Economics - - - General


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