RepentignyCanada

2018-09-17 00:00:00

A City For All - Citizens And Families


BASIC CITY DATA

  • Population size: 84,965

  • Population growth rate (%): 11.00

  • Surface area (sq.km): 71.25

  • Population density (people/sq.km): 1,192.50

  • GDP per capita (USD): 19,360.00

  • Main source of prosperity: Industry, services, creative industry, tourism and culture

 

ABSTRACT

Launched in 2015 by the City of Repentigny, the initiative My Municipal Services uses a web application of interactive mapping to improve the quality of life and to foster the integration and participation of the citizens in the life of the community. It facilitates access to a wide range of information on the services provided by the municipality according to the specific place of residence of the citizens. The project was developed in partnership with Esri Canada, a firm that provides world-class enterprise geographic information system (GIS) solutions.

My Municipal Services is easily accessible through various web browsers on desktop and mobile devices. It provides the citizens with useful and timely information on many aspects of daily life in an urban environment such as the schedules for the collection of different types of waste, access to municipal offices and municipal court, location of police and fire stations, public transit and libraries. Through this application, a citizen can be informed of the address and opening hours of the closest municipal facilities, on how to get there from his residence and on how to access additional information through E-mail and Web sites. My Municipal Services is also a precious tool for the employees of the city who are receiving requests for information from the citizens by phone, E-Mail or in person. 

More recently, an extension of this initiative has been developed to provide the families with a range of information on recreational and sports activities, parks and green spaces, community organizations, nurseries, schools and special events.

 

BACKGROUND INFORMATION 

The project is in line with the vision set for in the Repentigny Strategic Development Plan 2014-2019 which is centered on a "totally human city" and on innovation to provide the best municipal services to the citizens. It is an outcome of the development by the municipality of an innovative geomatics plan aimed at harvesting the potential of geographic information systems (GIS) for the benefit of the citizens. It contributes to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals that call for inclusive cities and participatory approaches. 

 

ORIGINS

The city of Repentigny has a population of 85,000 people. Over the years, the municipality has been keen to improve the quality and diversify the services offered to the citizens. This contributes to the attractiveness of our territory and to the quality of the living environment. A challenge has been to provide to the citizens an easy access to all the relevant and up to date information on the municipal programs and activities. This is in our view an essential condition to foster social integration and civic participation and to develop a sense of belonging to the community. 

New technologies, in particular interactive mapping and geographic information systems,were an opportunity to innovate in this regard and to develop a unique model to facilitate for the citizens access to information, behind the traditional tools used by local governments (newsletters, information phones lines, E-mails or Web sites). It is a central element of the smart cities concept. This information is also disseminated on the open data site of the Quebec government in order to facilitate even more the access to information which is particularly useful for the development of new applications and for the civil society in general. 

The goal of the project was to develop a user-friendly web application that would provide the citizens the possibility to access a range of timely information according to their specific place of residence. This involved a redefinition of the information management process of the municipality to adapt it to a webservice base and to pull together all the relevant data already in the different corporation information systems of the municipality.

The information provided through the web application was intended to facilitate the daily life of the citizens. It included for example the schedules in each neighborhood of the different waste collections (garbage, selected, organic, bulky material and branches). It also indicated the location and opening hours of municipal offices (City Hall, other municipal offices, libraries, municipal court, police station, fire halls, etc.) and how to get there from the location of the residence and how to access additional information through specific E-mail connections and Web sites. 

At the same time, My Municipal Services has proven to be an essential tool used by the employees of the City who are receiving requests for information from the citizens by phone, E-Mail or in person. They frequently rely on MMS to give reliable information to the citizens.

The My Municipal Services innovative initiative provided an opportunity for the City ofRepentigny to extend on the same basis the information available to families through a new project called the Family Map. With the same configuration, the application gives access to a range of information on recreational and sports activities, aquatic center, skate plaza, cycling network, parks and green spaces, community organizations, nurseries, schools and special events. It includes also information on activities in the libraries, the Crealab and the arts center of the municipality. 

This initiative was developed in close partnership with Esri Canada, a firm that provides world-class enterprise geographic information system (GIS)solutions.My Municipal Services application leverages ArcGIS Online and Esri Canada’s ArcGIS for Canadian Municipalities, a series of comprehensive and configurable applications built on a harmonized Canadian Municipal Data Model and the ArcGIS API for JavaScript. It also uses a base map created through the Community Maps Program.

The geomatics and information system division of the City of Repentigny was put in place in 2011. Its annual operational budget is around $500,000. Its four employees are all geomatics specialists and they include a manager, two analysts and one technician.

 

INNOVATIVE ASPECTS

The City of Repentigny has revolutionized the way municipalities reach out to their residents and provide information on municipal services. It links the citizen with specific information in accordance to the location of its residence and it provides mapping information on how and when to access municipal offices, services and activities. My Municipal Services application has been the first one of this type developed at the municipal level in Canada. It is a powerful tool to foster the integration of newcomers to city and to foster civic participation by all the citizens. It helps municipal employees to give better services to the residents. It creates proximity between the municipal services and the population. It is both flexible and adaptable.

Two other Canadian municipalities, the City Longueil (240,000 people) and the City of Sherbrooke (160 000 people), have replicated and adapted recently this innovative initiative developed by the City of Repentigny.

My Municipal Services initiative has been launched in 2015 and since then the content of the information has been gradually expanded. The application is updated as soon as changes are brought in service delivery by the municipality. A new application for families, the Family Map, has been developed on the same basis. It provides useful and reliable information on a wide range of recreational, sports and cultural activities as well as on special events. Information on community organizations, nurseries and schools is also available through the application.

There was a large support throughout the municipal organization for this innovative initiative. In order to resolve any technical problem and to ensure the coherence and reliability of the information, the expertise of a specialized resource is required in the geomatics and information system division of the municipality.

 

DESIRED CHANGE OR OUTCOME 

The application My Municipal Services has generated strong interest among the residents of Repentigny. Since the beginning of 2017 for example, an average of more than 1,500 pages have been consulted each month, for a total of more than 28,000 pages. The average time of consultation is two minutes per page. The months from May to August are the busiest ones and they correspond to the period during which most of the some 1 500 new households move to the city each year. 

The Family Map application has generated between 100 and 400 visits each month, a peak of 1,000 having been reached in June 2018.

Monthly statistics on the access to the applications are compiled by the communication service which is in charge of the Web site of the municipality.

The municipal communication service uses periodically different tools to promote the application in the media and to the population.

This initiative is part of the broad vision of the City of Repentigny to continue to develop an inclusive city at a human scale and to table on innovation, creativity and new technologies to achieve this goal. We are one of the leading municipalities in this regard in the metropolitan Montreal area and throughout the province of Quebec. The City has received recognition from the information technology industry for the project My Municipal Services. It received in 2016 an OCTAS award from the IT ACTION Network, which recognizes organizations for their creativity, vitality and exceptional contribution to the growth of the information technology industry in the province of Quebec.

 

LEARNING ASPECTS 

New technologies, in particular in the field of geomatics and geographic information system, make it possible for cities to develop innovative approaches to reach out to their residents and provide information on municipal services. Already, two other Canadian municipalities have replicated and adapted the innovative model develop by the City of Repentigny. A video presenting My Municipal Services is available on YouTube. The City of Repentigny and its partner, Esri Canada, would be glad to share this experience with local authorities in the different regions of the world.

 

RELEVANCE TO SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS 

Goal 11: Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable

  • Target 3: Participatory, integrated and sustainable human settlement planning and management


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II. A City For All - Vulnerable People

 


BASIC CITY DATA

  • Population size: 84,965

  • Population growth rate (%): 11.00

  • Surface area (sq.km): 71.25

  • Population density (people/sq.km): 1,192.50

  • GDP per capita (USD): 19,360.00

  • Main source of prosperity: Industry, services, creative industry, tourism and culture

 

ABSTRACT

In 2016, a new information and referral service was developed in the Montreal metropolitan area to provide assistance to the citizens by telephone (211) or by the Web on a wide range of social and community resources. The 211 service helps curb poverty and social exclusion, giving the people with non-urgent social needs rapid information on the social and community resources that will help them find solutions to move beyond their precarious situations. 

The City of Repentigny took the leadership to go a step further in addressing the issue of how to assist the most vulnerable people whose needs could not be fully taken into account for different reasons by this new referral service. This led to the setting up of the Informational and Social Crossroads (ISC) project which provides personalized support to the citizens who have special needs or who are confronted with particularly complex situations. People who face language barriers, who cannot explain their situation clearly, who have functional limitations or for whom no assistance seems available can reach out to a social development officer for assistance. 

The Informational and Social Crossroads resource is available for the 122,000 citizens living in one of the six municipalities included in the sub-region of L’Assomption, Repentigny with its 85,000 people being the central city. The ISC project is housed in a community-based organization that has been contributing to community development for 30 years. So far, the ISC has provided assistance to close to 300 vulnerable citizens either through telephone contact or through meetings in person. The ISC works in close contact with a wide range of institutional and community partners.

 

BACKGROUND INFORMATION 

The project is in line with the vision set for in the Repentigny Strategic Development Plan 2014-2019 which is centered on a « totally human city », on social inclusion and on the adaptation of the municipal services according to the needs of all the citizens. It contributes to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals that call for ending poverty, achieving food security, inclusive cities and participatory and empowerment approaches. 

 

ORIGINS

In 2015, the City of Repentigny held a series of consultations in the process leading to the renewal of its municipal Policy for the families and the elderly. Many elderly people expressed the wish to be accompanied and guided in the process to obtain assistance and support. According to the 2016 Census, some 13,000 citizens of Repentigny are aged between 55 and 64 and 15,000 are 65 and over. The municipality wanted also to take into account the needs of all the vulnerable people as part of its vision for social inclusion and development with the perspective of leaving no one behind. 

It is in this context that the City of Repentigny undertook to mobilize its neighboring municipalities, other institutions such as the health and social services network, the private sector and community partners in order to develop a new innovative and practical model to support the most vulnerable people. 

The goal of the ISC project is to make sure that the essential needs of the vulnerable people, including food, shelter and material assistance, are met as well as the needs regarding personal and family life, mental health and access to justice.

The vulnerable people could be referred to the social development officer of the ISC either through the 211 information service or by one of the agencies concerned. The officer can interact with the person through a meeting or by telephone in order to be able to assess the situation and to find the best suitable solutions available. The approach is to contribute to the empowerment of people and to reinforce their capacity to react to the difficult situations they are facing. The role of the social development officer is also to make the links between the different agencies and community organizations and to make sure that the response to the needs of the vulnerable people is as comprehensive as possible.

The City of Repentigny has established a key partnership with a community-based organization Le Centre à Nous. The center is a pillar of autonomous community action in the region. It has been created 30 years ago and it provides office spaces and services to 22 community organizations dedicated to the well-being of the population. The municipality was keen to benefit from the skills and expertise of this organization to ensure the success of the project. The ISC and the social development officer are located at the center. Another key partnership has been established with the Regional Health and Services Agency which is an essential player in the delivery of a wide range of social and health services to the population. The Agency has been supportive throughout the development of the ISC project and is contributing to a large measure to its success. The City of Repentigny has also forged partnerships with the neighboring municipalities and with a major regional financial institution to complete the financing of the project for a five year period. 

The City of Repentigny has invested CAD 250,000 for this initiative over five year period (2017-2021). The regional council of municipalities has allocated CAD 80,000 for the project and the local credit union (Caisse Desjardins Pierre-Le Gardeur)made a contribution of CAD 75,000 from its community development fund.

A committee bringing together all the agencies and community organizations delivering services to vulnerable people has been put in place at the start of the project. This committee provides an opportunity for regular feedback on the project. It reinforces the links between the partners, contributes to the complementarity of the interventions and ensures a continuum of services to the most vulnerable people.  

 

INNOVATIVE ASPECTS

By its innovative character and its original design, the Informational and Social Crossroads project opens a new era in the field of inclusive and personalized social and community services. It took advantage of the introduction of a new information and referral service (211) based on new technologies to come to grips with the difficult challenge of reaching out and of providing support to the most vulnerable people in the community through a human positive and efficient interaction.

A key element of this innovative approach is the capacity to interact directly with the most vulnerable people, to assess their needs and to identify practical solutions in order to provide them with the support they require. Basically the ISC project breaks down the silo effect that too often limits the possibility to bring together all the elements of complex solutions to address difficult situations affecting vulnerable people. The approach also fosters the empowerment of individuals and families in developing their capacities to react to those difficult situations.

Another innovative feature is the committee described above bringing together all the pivotal partners involved in the project. Representatives of health and social services agencies, other government instances, public safety, schools, community organizations and municipal departments are committed to share information and have a common will to improve their practices. So far the committee has met on four occasions.

The development of the project has necessitated approaching and convincing a wide range of partners. Considering the innovative aspect of the proposal, substantial time had to be devoted to explaining the objectives and the engineering of the project. Another challenge is to ensure the continuous mobilization through the work of the multi agencies committee mentioned above.  

 

DESIRED CHANGE OR OUTCOME 

More than 20 % of the requests received so far by the 211 service for the territory covered by the project were referred to the Informational and Social Crossroads initiative for treatment. This proves the relevance of this additional and complementary component. It shows the complexity of the situations of vulnerable people and the difficulty for them to access the services. In this regard, the ISC is an essential and useful link.  

The Informational and Social Crossroads has already provided assistance to 290 vulnerable people. Office interviews were held with 130 persons and support was offered to another 160 persons through telephones calls. The statistics show that citizens from all the six municipalities covered have benefited from the services of the ISC in a proportion close to the distribution of the population between each city.

The 211 service was the entry point for 70% of the requests for assistance and the other 30 % were referrals directly made to the ISC by the agencies and community organizations. 

It is worth noting that 67 % of these vulnerable persons were women. The age groups were spread out as follows: 36% were aged between 50 and 69, 25 %were above 70, 28% were between 31 and 49 and 11% were under 30 years old. 

Close to 30% of the requests for assistance were in relation with basic needs: food, shelter and material assistance. More than 20 % were in relation with personal or family life. The others requests cover different categories, including mental health, substance abuse, services provided by community organizations, access to justice, consumer protection and health care. 

Vulnerable people in search of assistance through the ISC were referred to 90 different agencies or community groups on more than 370 occasions. Those agencies and community groups included the Saint Vincent de Paul Society, a food security group, an organization supporting immigrant families, a home economics association and a support center for victims of crime.  

The 211 information and referral service update each month a comprehensive set of statistics that include the data pertaining to Informational and Social Crossroads initiative. With the help of statistics from calls and web frequency, the 211 service sheds a light to government officials and decision-makers on social needs and in determining missing resources that are needed.

For the ISC the data include the number, the types and the average time required by the interventions, the origin of the requests, the sex and age of the callers, the municipality of residence, the nature of the requests and the list of the agencies and organizations to which the requests are referred and the number of times it occurs.

As mentioned above, new technologies provide the opportunity to monitor closely the evolution of a project like the ISC. In addition, the committee that brings together all the pivotal partners associated with the project is an essential tool to improve the quality and coherence of the interventions in favor of vulnerable people.  

This initiative is part of the broad vision of the City of Repentigny to continue to develop an inclusive city at a human scale and to table on innovation and creativity. We are one of the leading municipalities in this regard in the metropolitan Montreal area and throughout the province of Quebec. In 2018, the Informational and Social Crossroads project received the prize for the best initiative in support of families by a municipal of over 25,000 people awarded by a Quebec NGO, the Carrefouraction municipal et famille, which has for mission to foster policies and programs for children, families and the elderly at the local level.

 

LEARNING ASPECTS 

Many cities across the world have adopted social development strategies and specific policies and programs for the inclusion and wellbeing of the children, the youth, women and the elderly. One of the challenges is to reach out to the most vulnerable people in the community and offer them an opportunity to have their basic needs satisfied and to participate in civic life. 

In the context of the fast expansion of new technologies, the Informational and Social Crossroads initiative offers an example of how a municipality can mobilize its institutional and community partners, as well as the private sector, and can develop an original and practical approach to support and empower vulnerable people. The model rests on the capacity to interact directly with the people in need and to look for a comprehensive response outside the traditional silo approach of many organizations. The City of Repentigny would be glad to share this experience with other municipal counterparts in the different regions of the world. 

 

RELEVANCE TO SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS 

  • Goal 1: End poverty in all of its forms

  • Goal 2: End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture

  • Goal 3: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all ages

  • Goal 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls

  • Goal 11: Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable

  • Target 1: Access for all to adequate, safe and affordable housing and basic services and upgrade slums

 

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III. A City For All – Youth


BASIC CITY DATA

  • Population size: 84,965

  • Population growth rate (%): 11.00

  • Surface area (sq.km): 71.25

  • Population density (people/sq.km): 1,192.50

  • GDP per capita (USD): 19,360.00

  • Main source of prosperity: Industry, services, creative industry, tourism and culture

 

ABSTRACT

As part of its vision for an inclusive community for all, the City of Repentigny has developed in 2016 an attractive and innovative project in order to foster the participation and involvement of the youth through the use of new technologies. Located in a traditional municipal library, the Crealab is a multimedia lab through which the users have access to digital technologies focused on creative individual and group activities. These activities include the production of videos, music, photography and 3D design. The Crealab has become a unique living environment for learning, creativity, socialization and integration.  

This innovative project has stimulated the interest for the digital arts sector and has contributed to the development of new skills through the use of multimedia technologies for individual, academic and professional achievement. It is part of the core educative mission of public libraries but has somehow given a new meaning to the concepts of « leaning to learn » and knowledge transfer.

The impact of the project has been tremendous. A large proportion of the youth in the community regularly visit the Crealab for many hours at the time. A close partnership has been established with the local schoolboard and multiple workshops have been organized for schools groups. Special attention is given to reaching out to the immigrant youth and to youth with learning difficulties. As well, the Crealab has also networking and professional development activities for young entrepreneurs in the field of new technologies, in partnership with the regional Chamber of Commerce.

 

BACKGROUND INFORMATION 

The project is in line with the vision set for in the Repentigny Strategic Development Plan2014-2019 which is centered on a "totally human city", on an innovative environment and on the adaptation of the municipal services according to the needs of all the citizens. It meets the objectives of the Digital Cultural Plan of the Quebec government. It contributes to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals that call for learning opportunities for all, inclusive cities and participatory approaches. 

 

ORIGINS

The City of Repentigny is one of the 82 municipalities of the Montreal Metropolitan Area and has a population of 85,000 people. According to the 2016 Census, more than 10,000 citizens of Repentigny were teenagers, aged between 10 and 14 years old (5,250) and between 15 and 19 years old (5,250). Over the years, the interest of teenagers for the traditional activities of the municipal libraries had been declining. Considering the educative mission of public libraries as an essential tool for skill learning and knowledge transfer, the municipality commissioned a survey and focus groups to better understand the perceptions of teenagers and young adults of the services offered by the municipal libraries and of their interest in culture and technology. 

The results indicated that the traditional library was not considered a stimulating environment corresponding to their image and outlined their wish to have access to a user-friendly and creative environment instead. The municipality undertook to take advantage of the new technologies in order to develop an innovative concept attractive to the teenagers and young adults in the community.

Almost unique in Canada, the Crealab aimed at creating a strong link between the youth and the municipality, in the perspective of the development of a sense of belonging and of social integration. As well, the objective was to provide opportunities for individual, academic or collective achievement through the development of creative skills. The Crealab wanted to become a focal point of the activities of a large proportion of the youth in our community. 

The City of Repentigny has taken the lead in developing this innovative project. A close partnership has been established with the regional schoolboard and teachers in order for school groups to visit the Crealab and to be introduced to the potential of new technologies. A partnership was also forged with a regional community-based organization which has for mission to foster the integration of immigrant families and youth. A collaborative approach has been developed with the regional Chamber of Commerce in order for young entrepreneurs to take advantage of the Crealab for networking and skill development. Some 230 members of the Chamber are below the age of 40.

For the choice of the equipment, the municipality involved, the Society for Arts and Technology (SAT), a non-profit organization recognized internationally for its active and precursor role in the development of immersive technologies, virtual reality and the creative use of networks very high speed. With its triple mission artists' center, research and training in digital art, the SAT was created to support a new generation of designers /researchers in the digital era.

A well-known young host of the popular TV program Techno Planet played the role of ambassador of the project.

The project required a total investment of CAD 700,000, of which CAD 200,000 were financed by the provincial government of Quebec through the agreement for cultural development between the municipality and the Quebec Ministry of Culture and Communications. A dedicated and specialized team has been recruited to manage the Crealab as part of the work of municipal library. 

 

INNOVATIVE ASPECTS

The Crealab project was undertaken in the context of emerging trends and of the need for municipal organizations to adapt and reshape the services they provide to the citizens. From the perspective of traditional public library programs and activities, we could consider this initiative as revolutionary. Using new technologies to offer creative activities, to stimulate innovation and interest for digital arts and to provide an opportunity for skills’ development, the Crealab is also a living and secure environment for teenagers. The young entrepreneurs of the region have also a place to share ideas, learn and exchange skills and develop partnerships.

The concept of the Crealab was inspired by the growing interest for venues focused on the initiation to new technologies such as Fab Lab or media lab. A limited number of projects of that nature have been undertaken recently and the City of Repentigny has been a pioneer in transforming the idea in a concrete realization for the benefit of the youth.

Right from the start of the project, the City of Repentigny wanted the creation of a space « for and by the youth ». In addition to the survey and the focus groups mentioned above, an advisory committee of some 12 teenagers has been associated with all the phases of the development of the Crealab. The result is a dynamic environment fostering the creativity of the youth. The project called for bold architectural choices, departing from the traditional concept of municipal libraries. Its features combine industrial open warehouse style, multifunctional and user-friendly spaces for interaction and 3D design and container style well equipped rooms for training and creation (music, videos and photos). 

Occupying a space of 275 square meters, the Crealab is equipped with 14computer stations, a video studio, a video camera, a large 3D printer, a professional drawing board, a mixing table and many other hi-tech features and computer applications and programs. The Crealab is a learning and collaborative environment in which the youth share their knowledge and learn from each other. Digital creation includes audio and video creation, musical creation, motion animation, comic strips, photography, computer graphics and robotics. A large touch-screen is also available to the users.

In addition the Crealab has become a living environment for teenagers where they can chat, relax, do their school home works and eat meals together. It has been noted that many shy teenagers have developed their socialization skills through their participation in the activities of the Crealab.

One of the challenges of the project has been to set up a team for the management of the Crealab. In particular, the position of manager called for a unique combination of up-to-date technological knowledge, administrative skills, a capacity to organize participatory activities with the youth and to develop partnerships. The search profile put the emphasis on a strong interest for new technologies and for collaborative work and knowledge sharing. We succeeded in recruiting a young librarian with a passion for technologies and experience with the youth. The team is now composed of the manager, three specialized technicians and two librarians. 

As well, special attention has been given to inform and discuss the project with all the existing personnel of the municipal library, in order to foster a better understanding of the initiative and dissipate any apprehension. This approach provided for a smooth integration of the Crealab inside the library and for the technical and administrative adjustments which unfolded.  


DESIRED CHANGE OR OUTCOME

Since its opening, the Crealab has registered more than 18,000 admissions of teenagers after school hours, including more than 200 in only one day. It confirms that this initiative responds to the needs and expectations of the youth of our community. The teenagers tend to spend long hours at each of their visits. The Crealab proves to be a unique place for socialization and interaction, skills’ learning and creative digital arts activities. It is worth noting that a majority of the users are girls. 

The Crealab has welcomed so far some 1,300 high school students who have attended initiation and training sessions organized jointly with the schoolboard and the teachers. These training sessions are in accordance with the nine skills to be acquired specified in the Quebec Provincial Educational Guidelines. Two types of workshops are offered. The first one is focused on the technical aspects (image, video and programming) and the second one on the informational aspects (sources, research and digital citizenship). Groups of 5 to 60 students participate in these one to two hours workshops. 

In addition, some 500 students with behavior problems, learning disability, intellectual handicap and autism have been initiated in small groups to new technologies, with the participation of their teachers. Two career forums on new technology jobs have been organized for those students and 200 of them have attended those events. Five integration workshops have also been organized for 100 immigrant youth in partnership with a regional community-based organization. 

More than 250 young entrepreneurs have also benefited from the Crealab, attending networking events, training seminars and using the specialized equipment. 

The statistics compiled on the daily admissions to the Crealab and on the participation of school groups and other youth groups are a testimony to the relevance of this initiative which has been met with tremendous success. A strong connection between the municipal library and the youth has been reestablished. The decision to table on new technologies to foster the social integration of the youth, to encourage school perseverance, to improve skills and to support young entrepreneurs has been a strategic one for our municipality in the perspective of developing a human city for all. Many parents have expressed their satisfaction towards this initiative that is adapted to the needs and interests of teenagers. The same can be said of the interest and support of school managers and teachers.

The City of Repentigny will continue to monitor closely, to support and to promote the activities of the Crealab and to proactively develop partnerships with its institutional and community partners in this regard.

This initiative is part of the broad vision of the City of Repentigny to continue to develop an inclusive city at a human scale and to table on innovation and creativity. We are one of the leading municipalities in this regard in the metropolitan Montreal area and throughout the province of Quebec. The Crealab received in 2018 an OCTAS award, in the category of municipalities of more than 500 employees, from the IT ACTION Network, which recognizes organizations for their creativity, vitality and exceptional contribution to the growth of the information technology industry in the province of Quebec.

 

LEARNING ASPECTS 

Many cities across the world face the challenge of integrating the youth, of developing a sense of belonging to the community and of contributing to the development of their skills and knowledge. Municipal libraries have traditionally played a key role in this regard. However, the interests of the youth have been evolving and many of them are highly attracted by the potential of new technologies. The Crealab project is one example of how a substantial change can be brought in the services offered by a municipal library that could become a focal point for the activities of the youth in a secure and creative environment. 

The potential of new technologies has been harnessed for the benefit of all the youth. The process that led to this initiative was based on a strategic and innovative municipal vision, on the involvement of the youth in all the phases of the project and on the establishment of strong partnerships with the academic community, the private sector and community organizations. The City of Repentigny would be glad to share this experience with other municipal counterparts in the different regions of the world. In 2017, the municipality has been invited to present the Crealab initiative at an international conference held in Sydney (Australia) organized by the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions that focused on STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics) programs in public libraries.  

 

RELEVANCE TO SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS 

  • Goal 4: Ensure inclusive and equitable education and promote life-long learning opportunities for all

  • Goal 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls

  • Goal 11: Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable

  • Target 3: Participatory, integrated and sustainable human settlement planning and management