Valérie Plante


1,820,000 (2017)

Innovation Website
Lead Innovation Officer

Stéphane Guidoin

Innovation is helping to:
  • Improve service delivery

  • Anticipate and manage future challenges

  • Improve resident outcomes

Critical success factors:
  • Dedicated funding

  • Focus on measurement

  • Dedicated innovation team

  • Leadership from Mayor

  • Culture of innovation in city

  • Support from outside city administration

Spotlight on innovation in Montreal

Montreal’s Smart City and Digital Office became the Montreal Urban Innovation Lab in May 2018. The Lab’s mission is to work with citizens, city employees and partners to promote and support innovative solutions to major urban challenges. This means i) accompanying city departments in their own innovation efforts to boost efficiency; ii) establishing citizen and partner reflection activities and working groups to identify challenges and co-create solutions; and iii) ensuring government transparency internally and externally, notably through data.

Vision and approach to innovation capacity

Along with 44% of cities surveyed, Montreal has an explicit innovation strategy. Similar to 40% of cities surveyed, Montreal approaches innovation capacity both from a holistic/macro level, as well as in specific policy areas.

Policy areas that Montreal is focused on

Social welfare/social services
Policy areas by number of cities

Montreal utilizes 7 different innovation skills or roles

Project manager
Communication officer
Community engagement staff
Open data advisor
Economic development advisor
Innovation roles by number of cities

Situated in the City Manager’s office, Montreal’s dedicated team for innovation – the Montreal Urban Innovation Lab – consists of 8 staff.

Terms Montreal most associates with innovation

Big picture re-thinking
Resident engagement

Montreal's most common innovation activities

Human-centered design
e.g. prioritizing the end-user at each stage of the design process
  1. 1

    Taking risks or testing new ideas

  2. 2

    Data-driven analytics/public data management

  3. 3

    Engaging residents in new ways

  4. 4

    Developing new solutions based on digital technologies

  5. 5

    Organizational change within the municipality

  6. 6

    Human-centered design

  7. 7

    Rethinking your city’s approach to financing partnerships

Its innovation activities also include taking risks and testing new ideas; facilitating organisational change within the municipal administration; and rethinking the city’s approach to financing and partnerships.

How is innovation funded here?

Like 77% of cities surveyed, Montreal has dedicated funding to support innovation capacity.

Top sources of funding

Higher levels of government
Municipal budget
Municipal budget
This could include, for instance, City Council approved funds; operating budget; a special funding process (bond, Mayoral special initiative funding, etc.); and participatory budgeting / citizen-selected budgeting.

Activities being funded

Launching or sustaining a project
Idea generation & brainstorming
55 cities
Launching or sustaining a project
53 cities
Idea generation & brainstorming
3 cities
Investing in digital systems
2 cities
Investing in physical infrastructure
2 cities
Paying for services

How is innovation measured?

Montreal benefits from an ecosystem of major innovators. The city has developed partnerships to promote its innovation capacity with more than 115 stakeholders from the public, private, institutional and community sectors, active in fields as diverse as health, education, mobility and the environment.

To improve data use, the city has also developed data partnerships with prominent private companies and local civic groups to collect and analyse data, as well as with other cities.

Data availability by policy area


Sufficient data


Economic Development

Housing and built environment

Policing and law enforcement


Waste and sewage

Labour market and skills

Environment and climate change


Insufficient data

Social inclusion and equity

Public works

No Response




Digital governance