In a new project called Îlots d’été, Montreal is encouraging its residents to work outdoors by installing 23 brand-new outdoor workspaces around the city.
1. The concept
Montreal new project Îlots d’été has launched its first-ever outdoor workspace network featuring 23 “sleekly designed booths with WiFi and electricity”. The spaces are available in nine different boroughs across the city for anyone to use for free with no reservations needed. The ‘little summer islands’ have been specifically designed for teleworking outdoors and can accommodate two socially distanced people, or six at normal distance.
The structures are made of aluminium and wood with a canvas roof which can withstand rain and wind, and. Each ‘island’ also features native plants, and feature power outlets, integrated lighting and free wifi. They also all have a ramp for accessibility to ensure people of all abilities are able to use them. The cabins were entirely designed and manufactured in Quebec and use sustainable materials. It is hoped that as well as helping avoid the isolation that many teleworkers feel, the project can share the benefits of ‘greendesking’ to boost people’s mental and emotional wellbeing.
These Îlots d’été throughout the city will give citizens the opportunity to work outdoors and to reconnect with their living environment, but also their city as a wholeChantal Rouleau, minister responsible for the metropolis and Montreal region
2. The project
The project is powered by Aire commune, a popular open-air hangout and coworking space and part of Îlot 84, a not-for-profit which aims to revitalise urban spaces and create connections between a city’s residents. Îlots d’été also received support from the Government of Quebec, financial services cooperative Desjardins and mobile and internet provider Fizz. In a press release shared with MTL Blog, Aire Commune wrote, “Whether on the banks of the river in Lachine, on the Olympic Park’s Esplanade, in the heart of Little-Italy or downtown, citizens will be able to work differently while enjoying summer.”
According to the team behind the project, developing outdoor workspaces was a big priority for the city. “The 2020 lockdown exacerbated this urban design problem, which is where the Îlots d’été comes in.” Chantal Rouleau, the minister responsible for the metropolis and Montreal region said, “These Îlots d’été throughout the city will give citizens the opportunity to work outdoors and to reconnect with their living environment, but also their city as a whole”. The Îlots d’été will operate from June 14th through to October 14th, and Aire Commune aims to have fifty stations up and running in Montreal by the summer of 2025.