Atlanta — Aug 14, 2023
(ATLANTA – Aug. 14, 2023) More than 120 government, business, and civic leaders from metro Atlanta will visit the Montreal, Quebec region on Aug. 15-18 for the Atlanta Regional Commission’s 2023 LINK™ trip.
LINK participants will explore key issues facing both the Atlanta and Montreal regions, including transportation, housing affordability, economic development, and climate resilience. During the visit, the LINK delegation will meet with Montreal-area leaders from the public, private, and non-profit sectors.
Participants will also break into small groups for tours that include the Port of Montreal, a recently opened bus-rapid transit line, an electric vehicles innovation center, and Wellington Street, a major thoroughfare that is pedestrianized during the summer months.
“The Montreal region is a dynamic and innovative place that provides rich opportunities for the Atlanta LINK delegation to explore solutions to the challenges that we face back home in metro Atlanta,” said Anna Roach, Executive Director & CEO of the Atlanta Regional Commission. “We also look forward to returning the favor and sharing some of the great things happening in Atlanta with our Canadian hosts.”
About the Montreal Region
The Montreal metropolitan area has a population of 4.3 million, compared to about 5.2 million for the 11-county Atlanta region. Metro Montreal is the second largest in Canada, following Toronto, and has added about 500,000 people over the past decade, growing about half the rate of metro Atlanta over that time.
The Montreal region is a major economic center, home to large industrial companies like jet airplane maker Bombardier and nimble high-tech firms like Rodeo FX, a visual effects firm that won award for its work on the HBO series Game of Thrones. Montreal is also one of the world’s premier artificial intelligence research centers.
Themes the LINK delegation will explore while on the other side of the border include:
Transportation & Mobility: Montreal investing heavily in transit expansion
The Montreal region’s transit system is growing. The core, four-line heavy rail subway system is being expanded, and the first phase of a planned $5.1 billion light rail system opened for service in July. A bus-rapid transit line opened last fall on Pie-IX Boulevard, one of Montreal’s main thoroughfares, with 28 sheltered stops.
The Quebec provincial government provides substantial financial support for transit operations and expansions in Montreal. The provincial government is covering the cost of the new light rail system, for example.
Climate & Resiliency: Montreal Going Green in a Big Way
Montreal has become a global leader in efforts to address climate change. The city has set a bold target of becoming carbon neutral by 2050, requiring a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions of at least 55% below 1990 levels. The Montreal region is also home to groundbreaking clean tech research, and in 2022 hosted the U.N. conference on biodiversity, or Cop 15, which led to a historic agreement to reduce the loss of biodiversity by 2030.
Culture & Innovation: Montreal a Leader in AI Research and More
Montreal is a global hub for AI innovation and has the highest concentration of AI researchers in the world. Montreal-based MILA houses over 1,000 AI researchers and has a mission to develop AI technology in a way that is socially responsible and beneficial. Montreal boasts a thriving film and TV industry, with particular emphasis on the visual effects sector, and is a hub for video game development.
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The Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) is the official planning agency for the 11-county Atlanta Region, including Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Forsyth, Fulton, Gwinnett, Henry, and Rockdale counties as well as the City of Atlanta and 74 other cities. The Atlanta Regional Commission’s mission is to foster thriving communities for all within the Atlanta region through collaborative, data-informed planning and investments.
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