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Found 6 results

  1. http://www.playthecity.nl/ Play the City Play the City uses gaming to engage multiple stakeholders in resolving complex urban challenges. Changing the way we engage stakeholders, Play the City designs physical games as a method for collaborative decision making and conflict resolution. We tailor our games according to the questions of our clients. These can relate to large urban projects, refugee camps, violence prevention and other multi-stakeholder challenges societies face. We use gaming as a problem-solving method bringing top down decision makers together with bottom up stakeholders. In the accessible environment of games, freed from the jargons, various ideas, plans and projects meet, conflict and collaborate towards negotiated outcomes. We believe gaming is the real alternative to standard formats of public consultation in the 21st century. Our method has been acknowledged internationally and has been implemented for large-scale projects in Amsterdam, Istanbul, Brussels and Cape Town. You can gain more insight by clicking our projects page. sent via Tapatalk
  2. Montreal's vital signs improving PETER HADEKEL, The Gazette Published: 7 hours ago When consulting economist Marcel Cote put together a statistical picture of the Montreal area, he found several signs of improvement. The region's unemployment rate, long among the worst in urban Canada, is now closer to the national average than it's been in two decades. The workforce is getting smarter. Over the last 10 years, the proportion of Montrealers who've completed post-secondary studies has shot up from 43 per cent to 55 per cent and is now above the Canadian average. Innovation is thriving. Between 1990 and 2005, the share of scientific and technical jobs in the labour force has grown at a faster rate than in Toronto and Vancouver. Cote collected the data for the Foundation of Greater Montreal, which yesterday published its annual checkup on the metropolitan area, titled Vital Signs. The report is intended to raise awareness on the challenges and opportunities facing the community. It also serves as a good gauge of the quality of life in Montreal. But for all of Montreal's improvements, there are plenty of problems to address. Nearly a quarter of families earn low incomes and a disproportionate number of seniors live in poverty. Chronic homelessness remains an issue, especially among First Nations and Inuit. And Montreal still hasn't figured out how to integrate immigrants into its economic fabric. Relative to Canadian-born workers, the jobless rate among immigrants is far higher than it is for Canada as a whole. Asked to sum up his findings, Cote noted that in areas where change happens quickly, Montreal has done quite well. For example, changes in public policy like government mandated pay equity have helped put money into consumers' pockets and improved Quebec's economic performance. But on longer term issues like poverty and personal health, progress is much slower. On the island of Montreal, 25 per cent of women and 40 per cent of men did not have a family physician. In secondary schools, only 39 per cent of students exercised enough to be in good physical condition. It's worth remembering that economic health is closely linked to social health. Prosperity and growth help to pay for improvements in health and social services. As well, the link between educational attainment and a strong economy is clear, Cote noted. The high dropout rate in Montreal-area schools is closely linked to the incidence of poverty. To ensure that growth continues, Montreal will have to address tough challenges, including: the aging of its population, the impact of globalization and the competitive threat from such emerging economies as China, India, Russia and Brazil. The city also needs huge infrastructure repairs. And a way must be found to reorganize municipal finances so that it can meet the needs of citizens. If Montreal can do a better job in these areas, it should be well-positioned to compete, because its economy is diversified and increasingly driven by knowledge industries. "Montreal's fundamental comparative advantage is in advanced manufacturing," Cote says. The city has a skilled and stable work force that attracts investment. "Our advanced manufacturing industries are not too threatened by the developing countries." Of all the challenges ahead, Cote says the biggest one may be remaining an open and international city while retaining the French character of Montreal. "We have to stay open," he said. "We have to accommodate more immigrants. But we have to get them to accept French. Otherwise, they don't have jobs, they're not happy and they leave." Montreal has done a fairly good job of retaining new immigrants but must get them into the workforce faster. "The fact that Montreal is French in North America is our fundamental challenge. We want to keep it this way, we like it this way, it makes a very interesting city. But it has its problems." Cote added, however, that if cities like Brussels, Amsterdam and London can retain an international quality, Montreal can too. Immigration is key to both arresting the city's demographic decline and positioning it to prosper in the global economy. [email protected]
  3. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/12/us/blighted-cities-prefer-razing-to-rebuilding.html?nl=todaysheadlines&emc=edit_th_20131112&_r=0 Absolutely fascinating article in the New York Times abut the demolition of inner city areas throughout the States. The figures for population exodus are staggering. It reminds me of Drapeau`s slum clearance programme here. . What is it now? 50 years later? And we still have great swaths of abandoned land along Rene Levesque ouest. Our urban challenges seem fairly minor compared to some.
  4. Merci, Au Revoir,Montreal and Hello New York I had the chance to escape from New York (no not like the movie) and visit Montreal, Canada this long Memorial Day Weekend. Wow was I impressed. This was not my first trip to Montreal by a long shot, but it was my first trip as an adult. When I was in college, Montreal meant three things to me: Hockey, Concerts and Strip Clubs. And not always in that order. I failed to see the beauty and the thriving cultural scene through my beer goggles. The city is charming, as are the people, restaurants and scenery. If you want a little bit of Europe without actually going to Europe, Montreal may be just your ticket. Yes, Montreal is in Canada, and Canada is another country, not located in Michigan as one of my crestfallen fellow countrymen discovered on line at the airport when asked for her passport. Much to her chagrin, she discovered she would need a passport to travel to Canada, as Canada is a country, not a state or a city. So much for those improved New York State Regents requirements in geography. Anyway, back to the topic at hand. I had the opportunity to visit my friends in Montreal, and they, along with the city, were charming and delightful hosts. While I did not get a chance to take in the whole city, they gave me their perspective. It’s always good to visit a city where you know people, they can show you the off the beaten path gems and diamonds in the rough. If you are located in New York or its environs, East Coast, Montreal is about an hour flight and a world away. I can see why it made the list as one of the world’s cleanest cities. Walking around I was puzzled my first day there. I was thinking to myself “what’s wrong with this picture” and then it hit me - the place is so clean you could probably eat off the sidewalk. I mean not a gum wrapper, plastic bag or tossed away soda can anywhere in sight. It’s obvious that people respect their city and the city does a good job keeping things tidy. A small thing to notice, but when you live in New York, where littering is an art form, you notice these things. Don’t worry New York, you are my hometown and I still love you, and you have vastly improved since the days of my youth, I was just dancing with another girl this weekend and in terms of littering and cleanliness, she just danced better than you. Montreal has a lot to offer - if you are into the nightlife, they have a thriving club and bar scene. Food more your thing? Plenty of top notch restaurants. It’s a city of festivals, and a city of fun. Art and culture more your thing? Plenty of that with galleries and museums, and just the architecture and landscape of the city will leave you breathless. I managed to see a great exposition of Cuban art which I probably would not have had the chance to see since that sort of thing is embargoed in the United States (what, you thought I was not going to get political in this post, that it was all going to be travel tips and city reviews, think again, this is me). The city has a famous Formula One Grand Prix coming up in June, not to mention one of the world’s largest comedy festivals, Just for Laughs, and from what I hear, a kick ass fireworks competition. It also has a casino, located near the famous Biosphere from the 1967 World’s Fair (known as Expo 67). I managed to do what I always do whenever I walk into a casino - lose money. But it has great dining and the trip on Montreal’s Metro was an experience. Makes the average New York City subway ride look like a scene straight of “Nightmare on Elm Street”. Okay, as you might guess I have a come down with a bad case of culture envy, city envy, country envy, with a side order of IAS (Inferior American Syndrome). I get this a lot. I travel somewhere and see how things are and begin to feel like a savage. I tend to forget that in terms of culture, America is extremely young on the world’s stage, we are the bratty teenager compared to most of the world. If you have a brain and a conscience, it’s hard not to hang your head in shame these days. My country is prosecuting a war that is not popular abroad, and is currently lead by a man who is despised and looked upon as a clown by most of the world. Try as we do, we Americans are really culturally naive, and I really feel this when I travel. Let’s just say that after Starbucks, Sex and the City and McDonald’s, our cultural lexicon is extremely limited and we are kidding ourselves when we pump ourselves up with this feeling of superiority. Yes, for now, we are a super power, whatever that means. Our motto should not be “In God We Trust” but “The Sword is Mightier than the Pen”. Okay so this blog entry seems like and exercise in self-hatred and country shame. It is. But as my Canadian friend reminded me this weekend, “You Americans are too hard on yourselves.” That was a refreshing point of view. As I continually feel the necessity to apologize for being an American and living in a country who’s government has sponsored and supported war, misery, crime, and tyranny, I need to be reminded of this - that I, and we as a nation, are indeed too hard on ourselves. Like everywhere else, we have our good and we have our bad. Maybe I will never be a flag waving patriot, but I still love my country and want it to grow and thrive, and yes I want us to stand out in the world, not for what we can do to our enemies if they cross us, but what we can achieve once we set our minds to it. There are a lot of challenges that are currently facing us a nation, and indeed as a globe. The environmental crisis, poverty, hunger, tragedies on a global scale, and lack of faith and trust in established institutions have exploded to the surface and kick us in the balls on a daily basis. Now we can turn away, ignore these issues, grab a beer, watch a ball game, become obsessed with “American Idol” or overindulge in the multitude of distractions that are available to us. Or we can see this as an opportunity to take up these challenges and work with others around the globe to come up with creative solutions. The death toll in the Chinese earthquake alone was over 60,000 people. Cyclone Nargis in Myanmar (Burma) has claimed over 140,000 lives. Here in the United States, and estimated 37 milllion people live in poverty according to 2006 data from the US Census Bureau. Domestic violence, addiction, lack of health care coverage, a crippled education system - these are all bigger challenges our country has faced than anything the terrorists can do to us. Soon, we will have the opportunity to select a new President, who will supposedly guide us through this quagmire. But it’s not too early to think about what we can do on the micro level - that means the nation of one - you and I. Can one person change the world - yes believe it or not one person can - one at a time. Keep your eyes open, and you may just see an opportunity to do that.
  5. http://toughmudder.com/events/montreal-sat-july-6-sun-july-7-2013/?language=fr Tough Mudder: Fancy an obstacle course on steroids? Tough Mudder brings its bruising brand of insanely popular obstacle-course challenges to Quebec in July By René Bruemmer, THE GAZETTE May 31, 2013 Tough Mudder: Fancy an obstacle course on steroids? Tough Mudder brings its bruising brand of insanely popular obstacle-course challenges to Quebec in July By René Bruemmer, THE GAZETTE May 31, 2013 ason Ostroff ran competitively as a kid. He remembers it being a trying experience, with much training and gasping and worrying about best times. He doesn’t run much anymore, but one childhood activity he does miss is the jump and tumble fun of navigating obstacles, revelling in the elemental joy of getting over, under or through. Which is why he and three longtime friends will be taking part in the Tough Mudder event this summer near Montreal, a child’s obstacle course on steroids designed by military men that bills itself as “probably the toughest event on the planet.” “Honestly, it’s just that I like the idea of running an obstacle course — it’s just fun, and since I was a little kid, I kind of liked the idea of having to get through this stuff,” said Ostroff, a 26-year-old McGill medical student living in Notre-Dame-de-Grâce. “It feels like an army boot camp kind of thing. And an opportunity to be a kid again.” In July, about 8,000 people are expected to sign up to test their strength, stamina and perhaps sanity at the first Montreal Tough Mudder event, taking place at the Bromont airport, one hour’s drive east of the city. Participants will navigate an obstacle course 15 to 20 kilometres long and scale 25 challenges designed by British Special Forces, most often with the help of teammates — entrants are encouraged to enter as part of a team, and about 80 per cent do. They will climb wooden walls, jump fire, receive electric shocks, crawl through fields of mud and immerse themselves in freezing water in challenges with names like Arctic Enema, Fire Walker and Ball Shrinker. At the end, they will be handed an ice cold beer, but they will not be told how long it took them to complete the course, because providing a change from timed marathon-type races is at the heart of the Tough Mudder philosophy. It also was a key selling point Ostroff used to coerce his friends. “None of them wanted to do it, until I explained it wasn’t timed,” he said. “They liked the fact we could just take it easy and didn’t have to sprint the entire race.” The Tough Mudder events are part of a growing phenomenon of adventure-type races offered worldwide with names like Muddy Buddy, Spartan Race and Warrior Dash for those seeking a new brand of challenge. In its second year in 2011, Tough Mudder had 140,000 participants at 14 events. By 2012, it had grown to 35 events, bringing in almost 500,000 participants. This year, 53 events are planned worldwide. The Spartan Race, a similar challenge that has a 20-kilometre event this year at Mont Tremblant on June 30, had 300,000 participants globally last year. Of those, most are corporate types joining with colleagues and “70 per cent of our people just came off the couch,” Spartan co-founder Joe DeSena told The Wall Street Journal. (Doing some training, however, is highly recommended.) When Will Dean presented his idea for Tough Mudder as part of a Harvard Business School contest, he was hoping to attract 500 participants to his inaugural event in 2010, drawn mostly through advertising on Facebook and word of mouth through social media, he told The New York Times. His professors considered that optimistic. The first race drew 4,500 participants to Allentown, Pa., and Dean, a former counterterrorism agent from Britain doing his MBA, discovered a new calling at the age of 29. It has grown into a $70-million company based in Brooklyn, N.Y. Modelled largely on events held in Europe, Dean’s premise was to create a challenge that involved more camaraderie and teamwork than standard marathons, and where participants don’t have to train for months. Participants are also allowed to skip obstacles they find too challenging. The organization takes a certain glee in poking fun at marathon-type races (“Fact # 1,” its website reads: “Marathon running is boring. Fact #2 — Mudders do not take themselves too seriously. Triathlons, marathons, and other lame-ass mud runs are more stressful than fun. Not Tough Mudder.”) The organization has also raised more than $5 million for the Wounded Warrior foundation, which supports injured soldiers. That being said, one does have to be a tough mudder to complete the race, which is why only 78 per cent of participants do so. Given the nature of the event, participants have to pay an extra $15 for insurance on top of the $85 to $180 it costs to register, depending on how soon in advance participants sign up. Spartan Race estimates an average of three people are injured in each of their races, and seven per cent will suffer “light” injuries. A 28-year-old died in April at a Tough Mudder event in West Virginia after leaping into a mud pond and failing to resurface, the first fatality in Tough Mudder’s history. The organization notes it is its only fatality in its three years among 750,000 participants, and the West Virginia event was staffed with more than 75 first aid, ambulance and water-rescue technicians. Ostroff trains five to six times a week at the gym, doing cardio and working on upper body strength, which should help, as might his intended specialty of orthopaedics. He hasn’t done any specific training for Tough Mudder — one day a year of climbing ropes and walking slippery planks over ice pits is enough, he said. He trusts his teammates, some of whom he has known for 20 years, although he’s a little concerned about the one who weighs 240 pounds, since he will have to help boost and lift that mass over wooden walls. His greatest concern is the running aspect of the race. “Honestly, I just hope to have a completely awesome day, as injury-free as possible,” Ostroff said. “I just want to have a great memorable event.” [email protected] Read more: http://www.montrealgazette.com/sports/Tough+Mudder+Fancy+obstacle+course+steroids/8460617/story.html#ixzz2UziJ5r3o
  6. Les français déchantent au Québec Magazine Challenges | 04.10.2007 | Réagir à cet article Canada : Le taux de chômage des étrangers atteint 11,5%, contre 4,9% pour les nationaux. Le Canada ne serait-il pas l'eldorado que l'on imaginait pour les immigrants ? Selon les chiffres publiés pour la première fois par Statistique Canada, l'équivalent de l'Insee, le taux de chômage des étrangers au Canada atteint en effet 11,5% après cinq ans de résidence dans le pays, alors qu'il est seulement de 4,9% chez les Canadiens de souche. Lire aussi Pour les 250000 personnes qui émigrent au Canada chaque année, les désillusions sont parfois fortes. Notamment au Québec, la province où 90% des Français émigrent. D'abord, avant d'obtenir un visa de résident permanent, il faut remplir les critères de la politique d'immigration sélective mise en place par le gouvernement d'Ottawa, composée d'objectifs économiques, démographiques et humanitaires. Sommairement, il faut entrer dans une des quatre catégories d'immigrants suivantes : travailleurs qualifiés, investisseurs, réfugiés, ou immigrants au titre du regroupement familial. Une fois arrivés sur le sol québécois, les nouveaux venus découvrent que la Belle Province est régie par une quarantaine d'ordres professionnels et que, sans un diplôme national, pas question d'exercer son métier d'origine. C'est le cas des infirmières, des médecins ou des ingénieurs français. Ils sont obligés de reprendre des études, de changer de boulot ou de travailler clandestinement. Comme ce jeune ingénieur mécanicien arrivé à Montréal il y a deux ans : «Mon diplôme n'est pas reconnu par l'ordre des ingénieurs du Québec. Tous les employés de notre cabinet sont dans ma situation, mais cela ne nous empêche pas de travailler... avec un statut de consultants.» D'autres, moins chanceux, sont obligés de repartir. 50% de retour Les difficultés des Français ne sont pas que professionnelles. Outre les couacs réguliers dans la communauté francophone où les Français sont souvent considérés comme arrogants, nos concitoyens déchantent aussi dès lors qu'il s'agit de se faire soigner, alors que le système de santé canadien est classé au trentième rang mondial par l'Organisation mondiale de la Santé. Assez discret sur le nombre exact d'immigrants français au Canada - entre 120 000 et 130 000 -, le consulat de France à Montréal estime qu'environ un Français sur deux retourne dans l'Hexagone après quelques années. Le ministère québécois de l'Immigration, lui, a toujours refusé de donner des chiffres sur le taux d'échec des Français. André Clémence, 55 ans, chef d'entreprise, tempère : «Beaucoup de Français souhaitent que la vie soit comme en France. Ils ont seulement des difficultés d'adaptation.» par Ludovic Hirtzmann