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Mechanisms, actors and impacts of the heritagization of post-war suburbs: the case of greater Montreal area.

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12:00 PM, Dimanche 7 Nov 2021 (30 minutes)

In recent decades, the widening of the notion of heritage has led to the identification of new types of heritage, such as recent objectscharacterized by their modernity. One ofthese recent objectsis the Quebec bungalow, which has recently been granted the status of suburbanheritage.

The Quebec bungalow has its roots in post-war history. With the arrival of the baby boomers, the federal government had to build affordable housing for middle-class households. From 1945 to 1970, the bungalow model, characterized by standardized architecture and prefabricated components, became the housing type throughout Quebec's suburbs,particularly in the greater Montrealarea. A symbolof family well-being, this model embodied an ideal based on an individual house with agarden.

In recent years,researchers and practitioners have claimed a heritage statusfor the Quebec bungalow. There is a social effervescence around the issue of suburban heritage, as evidenced by the inclusion of the Saint- Léonard housing cooperative on Heritage Montreal's list of threatened sites in 2013. Several municipalities have adopted bylaws on architectural implementation and integration plans (AIIP) to better control interventions in the built environment of suburbs. Finally,some heritage societies, like one in Boucherville, have produced guides and other materials for residents to help them discover a part of their town's architectural heritage.

These heritage-making processes appear while post-war suburbs are under intense real estate pressure and may disappear from the Quebec landscape. In this context, several municipalities and organizations of the Montreal regioncall for preservation as a factorof identity and cultural development. The challenge of such processes is to resist change, land pressure and metropolization.

In what forms do theseprocesses emerge? What issues do these processes raise? Based on a doctoralthesis in progress, this communication proposal focuses on the interactions of actors involved in the co- construction of suburban heritageand examines mechanisms put in placeto achieve these processes. It also explores the role of culture in deploying suburban territories through local development projects as well as the role of local communities in the development of heritage values. The methodology consists of an inventory of heritage-making processes in the metropolitan area of Montreal. Research data is collected in the field via qualitative methods with a documentary analysis, questionnaires and semi-structured interviews. The results enable us to capture new alternative heritage regimes in post-war suburbs, to highlight the need to further developregulations on suburbanheritage and to redefine the notionof heritage.



Lise Walczak


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