More than housing: multiple use cooperatives for the transition towards sustainable neighbourhoods and cities


GOLD VI report

As part of the UCLG GOLD V1 Report, partners of the CoHabitat Network have contributed a number of case studies based on their experience of successful projects overcoming urban and territorial inequalities.

Julie LaPalme (Cooperative Housing International), Léa Oswald (urbaMonde)

Montréal (Canada), Meyrin (Switzerland)

Click here to read the full case study (PDF)


This case study of two collaborative housing projects from Canada and Switzerland show how participatory and democratic processes can foster ollective creativity to design entire neighbourhoods according to the principles of sustainable development, by putting residents at the heart of the planning and management processes of their habitat. With its 1,350 new housing units and public facilities spread over 30 buildings in a 16-hectare area, the écoquartier des Vergers de Meyrin is home to 3,000 inhabitants and 10,000 m2 of commercial space. This project, initiated in 2007, is based on the three pillars of sustainable development: social solidarity, environmental responsibility and economic efficiency.

Citizen participation and the involvement of actors such as housing cooperatives are at the heart of its design. The Milton Parc Community (CMP) is a unique cooperative housing network located in the city centre of Montreal (Canada). It came to life in the 1970s when residents opposed the massive demolition of their historic neighbourhood by a private developer. CMP succeeded and is now home to over 1,500 people of moderate incomes living in restored and renovated heritage buildings and is the landlord of more than eleven commercial spaces serving the neighbourhood.

Click here to read the full case study (PDF)