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Found 25 results

  1. Destinations still under utilize technologies to inspire, promote, facilitate, engage travel.. When examining technology utilisation and online presence for tourism destinations the research demonstrates that the Top 10 destinations utilising technology online are ranked as: Thailand Montreal Las Vegas Vancouver Hong Kong Puerto Rico Australia Norway United Kingdom Melbourne http://traveldailynews.asia/columns/article/49630/destinations-still-under-utilize-technologies
  2. Brisbane in Australia is currently having a boom in proposals and approvals for skyscrapers now it seems height limits in the city may be lifted by the powers that be. One of the most recent green-lights will see a two tower project that will house the most expensive apartments in the city. Named the French Quarter Towers the project comes from local developer Devine Limited, it consists of two towers which will be built in two stages, one standing at 54 storeys and the second at 40 storeys. With apartments ranging in price from $2.5 million to a whopping $15 million you might be expecting some spectacular, gimmicky, Dubai inspired skyscraper instead, what Brisbane will be getting is two towers which are rather reserved and elegant. Squared at the bases the towers rise up in a pretty standard boxy way until they get about a third of the way up where they begin to gently curve inwards on one side, the curve deepens before coming back out again creating a subtle sort of S shape at the tops of the towers. The shaping of the tower isn't detracted from by any epic spires or crowns the addition of which could have made the towers look decidedly trashy. The facades are glazed and balconied offering residents fantastic views and somewhere nice to enjoy a glass of wine and the odd sunset or two. Residents at the tower can look forward to unsurpassed luxury as soon as a winner is announced for a international competition to design the interiors of the towers though it can probably be assumed the towers will also be home to a six star luxury hotel that with gymnasiums, spas and restaurants you have to wear a tie in. One thing is for sure though the tower will offer the very latest in "technomenities", a fancy word invented by marketing bods that means the towers will have the latest generation smart home technology, which will include automated systems for lighting and climate, in-home entertainment and electronic concierge services. Despite the French theme, high tech auroma technology spewing out the smell of garlic will not be included, whilst the concierge is likely to be much friendlier to English speakers than a Parisian would be. Construction is hoped to start in 2009 with completion penned in for mid 2012. http://www.skyscrapernews.com/news.php?ref=1487
  3. CGI laying off 100 in Montreal François Shalom , Montreal Gazette Published: 52 minutes ago Montreal technology company CGI Group Inc. laid off about 100 people at its Montreal and Toronto offices today, The Gazette has learned. The information-technology services firm told the affected employees in a letter that their department, technology and infrastructure management, "needs to undergo a transformation and re-alignment to adapt to market conditions. As a result, we are reducing the size of our workforce." Company spokesperson Lorne Gorber confirmed that about 65 people lost their jobs in Montreal and another 35 in Toronto. As an outsourcer, we're in constant restructuring mode," said Gorber. "We need to deliver constant improvements in performance of technologies and processes." Gorber said that CGI is making "every best effort to find new opportunities for them" elsewhere within the company. About one-third of those laid off are managers. One employee affected, 34-year-old IT consultant Marc Lallier, said he was called down to a conference room, handed the company letter and given an option to move. He has one week to respond, but couldn't say whether he would keep his $63,000-a-year salary in the new post offered to him. Gorber stressed that CGI is not retrenching. "We've just added 50 jobs in Quebec City recently and some positions in Sherbrooke as well, where we want to ramp up to 150 posts." He said the cost-cutting move is "not a knee-jerk reaction" to losing a contract but a more rational and thought-out division of labour. The last time the company announced important layoffs was in March 2006, when CGI slashed 1,000 jobs due to cutbacks at an important client, BCE. But the company has since rehired about twice as many as that, Gorber said, for a current workforce of about 27,000 people worldwide. About 16,000 are in Canada, of which 9,000 are in Quebec, 6,000 of them in Montreal. http://www.canada.com/montrealgazette/news/business/story.html?id=735856ab-0983-4177-bd62-2c7fc6bb00c9
  4. New Website Studies Montreal for Students 9/6/2007 A new web portal highlighting Montreal as an excellent location for international students has been launched by TP1 Communication electronique, a Montreal-based technology and communications company. Study in Montreal (www.studyinmontreal.info) is a reference tool providing this clientele with information about the many resources, activities and attractions that Montreal offers. The portal for international students includes original photography by Montreal photographer Benoit Aquin. "TP1 has distinguished itself through its approach to integrating all of the project's components: visual design, photo acquisition, technology, hosting, site maintenance and support. The team understood the objective of the portal right from the beginning and demonstrated rigour and creativity throughout its development," stated Isabelle Hudon, president and CEO of the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal, one of the partner organizations in the project. "A site like the Study in Montreal portal containing literally thousands of hyperlinks cried out for a tool enabling a small team of users to manage it efficiently," declared Joseph Blauer, Vice-President of Technology at TP1. Drupal, the chosen tool, is an open source web content management system published under the GNU Public License. Its content management capability along with its modular architecture, place Drupal among the most multi-faceted and flexible web content management systems currently available. For Study in Montreal, it clearly demonstrated its superiority for the creation of one of a new generation of collaborative websites. For more about Drupal, visit www.tp1.ca/en/drupal. TP1 will continue to work with the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal in 2007, notably to optimize external referencing. The portal is an initiative of the Conference regionale des elus de Montreal and is an integral component of the "Montreal, city of learning, knowledge, and innovation" project, in collaboration with the "Ouverture aux citoyens du monde" committee. This committee brings together Montreal's four major universities (McGill University, UQAM, Universite de Montreal and Concordia University), the Regroupement des colleges du Montreal metropolitain, the City of Montreal, the Federation etudiante universitaire du Quebec, the Forum jeunesse de l'ile de Montreal, Montreal International, and the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal. The site is supported by the Forum jeunesse de l'ile de Montreal as a principal financial partner and the Ministere des Affaires municipales et des Regions as a financial partner. TP1 offers consulting services in communications and technology, combining the strategic, operational and technological requirements of business through the common thread of communications. We offer a range of services in electronic communications, including: Website development, communications consulting, application development and managed services.
  5. Could the era of glass skyscrapers be over? One of the architects behind London's famous Gherkin skyscraper has now turned against glass buildings. Is it time tall towers were made out of something else, asks Hannah Sander. It is one of the UK's most recognisable buildings. A Stirling Prize winner. A backdrop to Hollywood films. Named the most admired tower in the world. But 10 years after it was opened, one of the designers behind the "Gherkin" has turned against it. Architect Ken Shuttleworth, one of the team at Foster and Partners who designed the tower, now thinks the gigantic glass structure was a mistake. "The Gherkin is a fantastic building," he says. "But we can't have that anymore. We can't have those all-glass buildings. We need to be much more responsible." The building at 30 St Mary Axe - nicknamed after a gherkin because of its bulbous silhouette - kick-started a decade of strangely shaped glass towers. The Cheesegrater, the Walkie-Talkie and the Shard loomed up from the pavements of London. The skylines of both Birmingham and Manchester were drastically altered by the addition of towers by property firm Beetham. One of the best-known glass building mishaps took place last summer, when the Walkie-Talkie at 20 Fenchurch Street in London was accused of melting cars. The 37-storey building reflected light in its glass facade and shone powerful rays at its surroundings. Cars parked underneath were damaged, and passers-by even managed to fry eggs using only sunlight. In the end the developers, Land Securities, had to apply for planning permission to obscure architect Rafael Vinoly's £200m design with a permanent "brise soleil" or sunshade. And yet despite this, Land Securities recently revealed that the widely reported calamity "did nothing to deter lettings". Glass buildings are popular - not just because of their striking appearance but for the views they boast, and the increased light they let in. When German architect Ludwig Mies Van Der Rohe designed what is said to be the world's first glass skyscraper in 1921, he associated the glass facade with purity and renewal. Later in the century, British architect Richard Rogers praised glass buildings because of their social worth. Glass walls enabled even employees working in the basement to benefit from reflected natural light and dissolved barriers between a cramped indoor office space and the greenery outside. Companies like to give the impression of a democratic working environment - open-plan and with floor-to-ceiling windows, so that all employees, not just the boss, benefit from the view. However, as concerns over global warming have become more widespread, so the glass structure has come under scrutiny. Since leaving Foster and Partners in 2006, Shuttleworth has become a key voice in the fight against glass. Despite his background working on giant glazed buildings, he has founded an architectural practice in which floor-to-ceiling windows are considered an archaic luxury. "Everything I've done for the last 40 years I'm rethinking now," he says. "If you were designing [the Gherkin] today... it wouldn't be the same product all the way around the building. "We need to be much more responsible in terms of the way we shade our buildings and the way we thermally think about our buildings." Glass lets out and lets in a lot of heat. A vast amount of energy is required for an office full of people to remain cool in the UAE and to stay warm in the snowstorms of Toronto. Governments are now so concerned by the long-term impact of "solar gain" - the extent to which a building absorbs sunlight and heats up - that they have introduced strict regulations around shape and structure. Architects are being encouraged to change where they place windows, so that a sunny south-facing wall has less chance to absorb heat than a chilly north-face. Walkie-Talkie developers Land Securities are currently at work on a building called the ZigZag, that is designed so that alternate walls cast shadows on their neighbours. The building is deliberately shaped so it can keep itself cool. In the US there is a campaign in favour of wooden skyscrapers, promoting wood as a "green" building material in place of glass. However, the trade association Glass for Europe has dismissed what they consider "a preconceived idea" that glass is bad. Instead they point to sustainable buildings in which glass has been fashioned into corridors that don't require central heating and solar panels that have been slotted seamlessly into a design. The association also points out that glass is fully recyclable. "A whole palette of glass products is available for the glazing to meet different functions in the building envelope," the association said. "Glass is fit for all climates." In the past decades, the glass industry has worked hard to adapt technology in the context of climate change. Engineer Andrea Charlson is part of a team at firm Arup that seeks new ways to increase material sustainability. She is not convinced that the glass in glass buildings is the cause of their problems. "There have been a lot of advancements in glass technology in the last few years and it's amazing what we can do now in terms of putting coatings on glass. Some of them can be a heavy colour tint that will provide some shading. Others will be almost invisible but will still keep a lot of the heat and solar gain outside a building," she says. Charlson is currently investigating problems in the materials that hold the glazed panels on buildings in place. "As the glass technology improves, one of the biggest causes of heat loss is through the framing. The heat energy will always try to find the path of least resistance." Even with the improvements to glass technology, Shuttleworth is not convinced that these sheer skyscrapers can be justified in today's society. He is not only concerned by their environmental impact, but also with the other effects a glass tower has on its surroundings. Architecture and design critic Tom Dyckhoff is equally keen to see the glass skyscraper put to bed. "As someone who spends their entire life staring at buildings, I am a bit bored by the glass box. They were radical in the 1920s and now they are just cliches, expensive ones at that. "But now that we are having to be more thoughtful about how and where we use glass, maybe architects will become more inventive in how they use windows, instead of plastering them across whole facades," he says. Shuttleworth's most recent project began life as a solid steel object and he says it has glass only where it is needed. "It is a privilege to have a window. I think it should be seen as a privilege," he says. http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-27501938
  6. Montreal hosts global programming event By: Rafael Ruffolo ComputerWorld Canada (17 Sep 2007) OOPSLA 2007, an international conference on Object-Oriented Programming, Systems, Languages and Applications bringing together a wide variety of computing professionals, is coming to Montreal next month. The conference offers demonstration sessions, panel discussions and keynote speeches geared towards industry practitioners, managers and researchers. Speakers will address subjects such as improving programming languages and software development, as well as exploring new programming methods. The event will also host doctoral students who will get the opportunity to interact and present their work to industry researchers. "We have a fair number of managers from various IT organizations coming to the conference," Richard Gabriel, OOPSLA 2007 conference chair, said. "This year's event in particular has a real superstar lineup as we have some keynote speakers that people in the field would try over a ten-year period to see. But, we've got them all." One such keynote speaker is Gregor Kiczales, a professor of computer science at the University of British Columbia. Kiczales is known for his work on Aspect-oriented programming (AOP) and helped lead the Xerox PARC team that developed the AspectJ programming language. He intends to talk about how people work together toward building and using complicated systems. "We have these very scientific and technical theories that account for how people work together versus the social factors that account for how people work together, and everybody knows that the middle is where the action is," Kiczales said. "The thing I want to claim our field should work on over the next 10 years is that theory in the middle of how people work and how technology works and I think that could have a dramatic impact on what we do." Kiczales said that AOP, which is what he's most known for, touches on these same issues. He said it's about how different people see the same thing in different ways. "I've been working with AOP a little over 10 years now and what I'm trying to do now is go back to this set of intuitions that produced AOP and fish out the next idea," Kiczales said. Because the OOPSLA conference is so diverse, he said, both technologists and methodologists will have the opportunity to hear these ideas together; something the specialized nature of most conferences fail to address. "OOPSLA is really about this mix of people from our field trying to see the ideas that are going to be breaking in about five or 10 years from now," Kiczales said. "The thing that truly makes OOPSLA unique is the mix it brings together with practitioners, managers, consultants and researchers. You have people who believe that technology is the answer, people who believe that methods are the answer, and people who believe that management is the answer. And when you mix these sorts of people together you tend to produce insight." Another notable speaker is John McCarthy, an Association for Computer Machinery (ACM) Turing Award winner, whose credits include coining the term "Artificial Intelligence" as well as inventing the Lisp programming language. McCarthy also did work in computer time-sharing technology and suggested it might lead to a future in which computing power and programs could be sold as a utility. "This is going to be a talk from one of the most famous computer scientists ever at the tail-end of his career," Gabriel said, adding that McCarthy is expected to discuss his work on a programming language called Elephant 2000. "He's been working on it for about 15 years now, but he doesn't talk about it much and has not released many papers on it, so it should be an interesting discussion," Gabriel said. Gabriel said what he knows thus far about McCarthy's proposed programming language is that it's designed for writing and verifying programs that facilitate commercial transactions such as online airline bookings. Frederick Brooke, another ACM Turing Award winner, is also speaking at the event and will discuss how companies can collaborate and "telecollaborate" to achieve conceptual integrity. "He's going to deal with the issue of groups of people who are designing systems together, but aren't situated in the same place," Gabriel said. "A lot of his current research deals around the issue of virtual reality." And speaking of virtual reality, two other notable speakers include Jim Purbrick and Mark Lentczner, who are software engineers behind the virtual world of Second Life. The two will deliver keynotes on the event's Onward, which is about trying to look to the future, Gabriel said. "Large companies like IBM and Sun Microsystems have presences in Second Life, so we're hoping some of the higher level, business-type people who attend will be the target of this keynote." OOPSLA organizers expect roughly 1,200 IT and computing professionals to attend the conference, now in its twenty-second year. The event runs from October 21 to 25, at the Palais des congrès de Montréal.
  7. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-07-31/downtown-nyc-landlords-remake-offices-in-shift-from-banks.htmlDowntown NYC Landlords Remake Offices in Shift From Banks By David M. Levitt - July 31, 2013 David Cheikin is betting that skateboard millionaires will be happy where the Thundering Herd once roamed. As vice president of leasing for Brookfield Office Properties Inc. (BPO), Cheikin is leading the push to remake lower Manhattan’s former World Financial Center into a destination for technology and media companies. Once home to the Merrill Lynch & Co., the brokerage firm known for its bull logo, the Hudson riverfront complex is now Brookfield Place New York, and much more than the name is changing. Brookfield is stripping away brass and marble trims and adding bicycle parking, free Wi-Fi in public spaces and electric-car charging stations. At Merrill’s former headquarters, clear glass is replacing the imposing, dark-tinted facade built as a barrier to the public, Cheikin said. “We’re just trying to work out ways to make it more in line with how people want to work today,” he said. Downtown landlords with millions of square feet of empty space are transforming offices that were designed for the global financial elite to better appeal to New York’s technology and media firms. They’re pitching their properties as an alternative to the converted factories of midtown south, where a frenzy of demand has pushed up rents and driven vacancies to the lowest in the U.S. The image makeover is only part of the challenge as the area faces a glut of space from skyscrapers that are nearing completion at the World Trade Center site. Empty Space Consolidating financial companies have left landlords with at least 6.3 million square feet (585,000 square meters) of space to fill, almost 7 percent of the lower Manhattan office market, according to data from brokerage Newmark Grubb Knight Frank. Another 2.4 million square feet remains unrented at two new trade center towers scheduled for completion by mid-2014. At Brookfield Place, vacancies loom on about a third of its 8 million square feet. Across the street at 1 World Trade Center, the Durst Organization is preparing a marketing campaign to convince creative firms that they’ll feel at home in the Western Hemisphere’s tallest building. Almost half of the tower, scheduled to open next year, is available for lease. Durst, equity partner with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey on the 1,776-foot (541-meter) skyscraper, is targeting companies that are in “phase-two growth, after the incubation startup stages,” said Tara Stacom, the Cushman & Wakefield Inc. vice chairman who is working with the developers on the leasing effort. New Construction “There’s something that the new construction can accommodate for all these tech users that the old construction can’t, and that is growth,” Stacom said. “A lot of these tenants are one size today, and they’re 200 times that size in less than a decade, and in some cases less than half a decade. We’re only now going out to speak to this audience.” Tenants could agree to take a small space at first, then expand into larger offices in the tower, Stacom said. As rents soar in the older buildings of midtown south, available government incentives and the efficiencies of new real estate would make the trade center more cost-effective, even at an asking rent of $75 a square foot, among the highest for downtown, she said. The tower’s open, column-free space offers more flexibility and the developers are even ready to duplicate a look that’s become popular with technology firms, leaving the ductwork exposed, Stacom said. Space ‘Mismatch’ About 1.4 million square feet are unspoken for in the skyscraper, which is slated to open to tenants next year and will have Conde Nast Publications Inc. as its anchor tenant. Another 1 million square feet are available at Silverstein Properties Inc.’s 4 World Trade Center, to open before year-end. There’s “a mismatch between the unprecedented amount of class A space currently available and the preferences of the tech sector for loft space in a neighborhood with a non-corporate vibe,” according to tenant brokerage Studley Inc. “Tech and creative-sector companies in Manhattan are indisputably growing by leaps and bounds,” Steven Coutts, senior vice president for national research at New York-based Studley, said in a July 24 report. “Nevertheless, this sector still lacks the heft to fill the void” left by contracting banks and other traditional office users, such as accounting and insurance companies. Lowest Rents Downtown Manhattan has the lowest rents and the highest office availability of the borough’s three major submarkets. The availability rate -- empty space and offices due to become vacant within 12 months -- was almost 16 percent at the end of June, up from 10.8 percent a year earlier, data from CBRE Group Inc. show. Asking rents jumped 20 percent to an average of $47.13 a square foot, a reflection of landlords’ expectations for the high-end space added to the market in the past year, according to Los Angeles-based CBRE. Rents in midtown south -- including such neighborhoods as Chelsea, the Flatiron District and Soho -- averaged $63.44 a square foot and the availability rate was 10 percent. Brookfield has about 2.7 million square feet of former Merrill offices to fill at its namesake complex. Bank of America Corp. (BAC), which took over the space when it bought Merrill in 2009, is keeping about 775,000 square feet and will stop paying rent on the rest in September when its leases expire. At Merrill’s former headquarters at 250 Vesey St., the vacant restaurant that once housed the Hudson River Club, where brokers dined on grouse and pheasant, has been removed. It’s now an open area where anyone can gaze at the Statue of Liberty in the distance. The change is part of a $250 million makeover of the World Financial Center’s retail space that will include an upscale food market and eateries that overlook the marina. Transit Hub Another selling point, according to Cheikin, will be the completion in the next two years of a $3.94 billion transit hub designed by the Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava. Brookfield is close to completing a 55-foot glass entryway supported by a pair of cyclone-shaped steel columns that will link Brookfield Place with the transportation center. Across town on the East River waterfront, SL Green Realty Corp. (SLG) is marketing about 900,000 square feet at 180 Maiden Lane, a black-glass tower south of the Brooklyn Bridge. Most of that is space that American International Group Inc. (AIG), once the world’s largest insurer, will vacate next year. SL Green, Manhattan’s biggest office landlord, is spending $40 million on renovations that include making over the interior plaza, as well as AIG’s cafeteria, auditorium and health club to transform them into “communal-type amenities,” said Steve Durels, director of leasing. Soul Cycle “I want the cafeteria to look like it’s a Starbucks, and I want the fitness center to look like it’s a Soul Cycle,” Durels said. “And I want the auditorium to look like the presentation space you’d find in a W Hotel.” Most importantly, he said, the ground-floor atrium will work like an indoor park, with seating areas where people can get a coffee and work on their laptops. Half of the floor will be covered in artificial turf, where tenants could arrange a volleyball, badminton or bocce game. So far, downtown landlords’ efforts to land creative firms have borne little fruit. Some of the industry’s biggest names -- Yahoo! Inc., EBay Inc., LinkedIn Corp., Microsoft Corp. and Facebook Inc. -- have opted to go elsewhere. Yahoo took four floors in the century-old former New York Times headquarters in Midtown, while LinkedIn went to the 82-year-old Empire State Building. EBay chose a onetime department store on Sixth Avenue in Chelsea that dates back to the 1890s, when the corridor was known as Ladies’ Mile. ‘Iconic’ Firms Facebook went to the East Village, taking about 100,000 square feet in 770 Broadway, which was designed in 1905 by Daniel Burnham, the architect who conceived the Flatiron Building. The social-media company joins tenants including AOL Inc. and the Huffington Post in the 15-story property. “Those firms are all iconic,” said Miles Rose, founder of SiliconAlley.com, a Web-based community for New York’s emerging technology industry. “The big, plain boxes don’t work for either their corporate culture or their workers. Older, iconic buildings have character and they have presence.” Of the 50 largest Manhattan leases made by technology, media, information and fashion tenants in the past two years, only 10 were in buildings completed later than 1970, according to Compstak Inc., a New York-based provider of leasing data. When 10gen Inc., maker of MongoDB data-management software, sought to expand out of its Soho offices last year, “downtown wasn’t exactly right for us,” said Eliot Horowitz, co-founder and chief technology officer. “We wanted some place that was pretty wide-open and feeling kind of lofty. We sort of wanted a Soho feel, but with a lot more flexibility and a lot more space than you can actually get in Soho.” Older Buildings 10Gen wound up taking about 32,000 square feet at the Times Building, he said. This month, it expanded its commitment to almost 50,000 square feet. Some creative companies that have gone downtown have favored the market’s older buildings. When HarperCollins Publishers Ltd. agreed to leave its longtime Midtown headquarters, it took 180,000 square feet at 195 Broadway, a colonnaded tower built in 1916 that was originally the American Telephone & Telegraph Co. building. WeWork, a company founded three years ago to provide shared office space to startups, took 120,500 square feet at 222 Broadway, a 27-story property completed in 1961 that once housed Merrill offices. Brooklyn Projects Brooklyn, across the East River from lower Manhattan, may emerge as competition for technology and media tenants. Developers have plans for about 630,000 square feet of offices at the former Domino Sugar plant on the Williamsburg neighborhood’s waterfront. In an industrial district near the Brooklyn Bridge, 1.2 million square feet of buildings long-owned by the Jehovah’s Witnesses are under contract to be sold to a partnership that may make much of the space into offices. New York’s Economic Development Corp. projects that fast-growing technology companies will need an additional 20 million square feet of space over the next 12 years, and they’ll be seeking rents of less than $40 a square foot. Melissa Coley, a Brookfield spokeswoman, declined to say what rents it’s seeking at Brookfield Place. The landlord last week said it had rented about 191,000 square feet combined to Bank of Nova Scotia, Oppenheimer Funds Inc. and fitness-club chain Equinox Holdings Inc. Earlier this year, it landed GFK SE, a German retail-research firm, for 75,000 square feet at 200 Liberty St., formerly 1 World Financial Center. GFK is moving from an older building in Chelsea. Trade Center The World Trade Center site is poised to get its second large media tenant. GroupM, an advertising planning and placement firm owned by WPP Inc., is working on terms to lease 515,000 square feet at 3 World Trade Center, according to two people with knowledge of the talks. The skyscraper, slated for completion in 2016, is being developed by Larry Silverstein, who considered capping the tower at seven stories if he couldn’t land an anchor tenant. If he goes ahead with building it to the full 80-story height, he’ll have another 2 million square feet to fill. The 70,000-square-foot spaces planned for 3 World Trade Center, called “trading floors” on the developer’s website, can be designed for “any industry,” according to Jeremy Moss, Silverstein’s director of leasing. GroupM is planning to use some of the five base floors, according to the people. Greg Taubin, a broker at Studley who represented 10gen, said certain technology tenants will be tempted by landlords’ efforts, while others “won’t go below 14th Street, period.” “It’s very tenant-specific,” he said. “But as midtown south continues to be tight for these types of tenants, certain buildings downtown will be the beneficiaries of this.” To contact the reporter on this story: David M. Levitt in New York at [email protected] To contact the editor responsible for this story: Kara Wetzel at [email protected] ®2013 BLOOMBERG L.P. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
  8. BBC NEWS Sentient cities may answer back By Laura Sheeter It may look like an ordinary rubbish bin, but don't let that fool you. Throw an aluminium can in here and you'd be none the wiser, but try chucking a plastic bottle away, and with an angry buzz it will throw it back out at you, fans whirring to rid itself of the wrong kind of rubbish. This is the 'smart trash can', part of the 'Toward the Sentient City' exhibition in New York, which explores how our lives might change when we can embed computers in anything and everything. This fussy recycling bin is the invention of David Jimison and JooYoun Paek, who also created a street sign that points at passersby, and a park bench which tips people off if they've been sitting on it for too long. David and JooYoun say they want to explore what might happen if technology went wrong in the city of the future, and make us think about our attitudes today. "It raised concerns about safety - people mentioned 'my grandmother would be hurt if she was dumped off a bench', and it also raised concerns about the homeless", says David. "Those are precisely the issues we were hoping to bring up, we were interested in talking about public policy in the future, but also where it inhabits our current life - for example, benches today are designed so they can't be slept on." River quality That vision of the future is one of five projects commissioned for the exhibition by the Architectural League of New York. The others include 'Trash Track' by a team from The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Boston, who attached smart tags to hundreds of items of New Yorkers' rubbish, so they could track each one from the moment it was thrown away. 'Amphibious Architecture' is the brainchild of a team at New York and Columbia universities who floated sensors and lights in two of the city's rivers, so that just by sending a text message, people can find out what's living down there and what the water quality is like. 'Natural Fuse' by Usman Haque, a London-based architect, who created a network of houseplants attached to the electrical system, which monitor energy use - if the system's members use too much power, some of the plants are killed, but if they collectively reduce their energy use the plants thrive, increasing their ability to capture carbon, and the energy available to all. The potential for technology to change our behaviour, for example by helping us engage with previously unseen places like rubbish dumps or rivers, or by holding our houseplants hostage, is a common theme, and one which the exhibition's curator, Mark Shepard, says he hopes will encourage debate about how we want our cities, and our lives, to change. "It's not about a fascination with the novelty of technology - the intention was to look at the social, cultural and political implications of these new technologies", he says. "We're probably not worried if 'smart' traffic lights can better control the flow of cars on our city streets, but some of us might be annoyed if, as we walk past Starbucks, a discount coupon for our favourite drink is beamed to our mobile phone. "And many of us would protest if we were stopped trying to get on the subway, because the turnstile had 'sensed' that our purchasing history, patterns of travel and current galvanic skin response happened to match the profile of a terrorist. We have to ask now what happens when the system fails, not after the fact." Outdoor meetings While the other exhibits show how invention and cutting edge technology could be used in the future, perhaps the simplest of the projects 'Breakout!' concentrates on changing how we use them. Anthony Townsend and Dana Spiegel have spent years installing free wifi in New York's parks, enabling people to get online almost wherever they want. Now they are trying to encourage people to use that freedom to escape their offices, even holding meetings outdoors. They are leading by example, working on the street almost every day while the exhibition is running, to show people that it's easier than they think. On the day I meet them they're in Philadelphia looking for a suitable spot, but icy winds are making things rather difficult. Internet access, comfortable seats and tables and nearby toilets are the essentials you need to find, they tell me. Finding shelter is high on my list, but Dana and Anthony say that's not a problem, as there are plenty of public atria which you can work in without returning to the confines of the office. They've brought with them a rucksack filled with supplies - a laptop, a wireless router and a battery-powered printer are the most hi-tech, the rest of the bag contains post-it notes, chalk, paper weights and a mini white board, not at all futuristic. But why bother leaving the office, where you have everything you need already? "It's about reclaiming public space and working better", says Anthony. "Offices are good for clerical work, and that's about it. Texting wildlife I work in about four different places on a regular basis, and now, for example, walking around Philadelphia, I'm completely stimulated. I can go back to an office to write, sure, but I can't get inspiration there. I want to help other people get the benefit of that." It's a message, says Dana, that's been positively received: "At first people think it's a spectacle. When do you ever see a group of people holding a conference meeting in a public park? But then they just get it. After all, it's not a strange activity, it's just happening out of place." But how real are these visions of the future? Could we find ourselves texting the wildlife, following our litter online and using houseplants to control our energy use, all from our office in the public park? It may seem outlandish, but Gregory Wessner from the Architectural League of New York says it's closer than you think. He tells me that as part of the exhibition they invited the architects Kohn Pedersen Fox and experts from Cisco Systems to give a lecture. The two companies are working together on two new cities, one in China, the other in South Korea, in which all the information systems, including residential, medical and business, will be linked. "How it will work, and whether it's good or bad, I don't know", he says. "But the first buildings have already opened, so it's happening, at least in some parts of the world, right now." It seems the sentient city is here, whether we're ready, or not. Story from BBC NEWS: http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/technology/8310627.stm Published: 2009/10/16 11:10:56 GMT © BBC MMIX http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/8310627.stm
  9. Technology and patient experience are key in €1billion design After 9 years in the making, the Akershus University Hospital near Oslo, Norway has opened. Designed and constructed by C. F. Møller Architects, it has a total area of 137,000 sq m and cost €1 billion to construct. During construction, from 1 March 2004, to 1 October 2008, some 1,400 people from 37 different nations contributed over 6.2 million man-hours erecting the new ‘super hospital’. The large-scale building will serve the 340,000 inhabitants from surrounding municipalities and boasts space for 50,000 in-patients with 4,600 staff members, including 426 doctors. The vision was to create something economical, innovative and a place people can relax and be at ease. Klavs Hyttel, partner in C. F. Møller Architects and lead architect of the project commented, “The concept of security should encompass both efficiency, technology and the familiar patterns of the daily routine. It is through this balancing act that we have created the architectural attitude of the building." The building differs in form throughout, yet notions of light and the outside environment are a common factor linking the assorted areas. Achieved through a glass covered main entrance, brightness is promoted throughout the main artery of the building. Coupled with the overriding use of wood as a key component in the structure. Adding colour and inspiring recovery, a €2.3 million art programme is in place mixing work from fresh and established Scandinavian artists. Contrasting with the organic materials in use are the advanced technological incorporations: Doctors can order medicine via PC which is then automatically dispatched to the patient; robotic un-manned trucks deliver bed linen and each patient bed comes with a TV, telephone and internet access. These futuristic practises give patients a more relaxed stay and increase the contact time they receive whilst enhancing the efficiency of such an institution. David Shiavone Reporter http://www.worldarchitecturenews.com/index.php?fuseaction=wanappln.projectview&upload_id=10465
  10. SolarBotanic is a company which researches and specializes in an emerging tech dubbed biomimicry -- which seeks to mimic nature, and use nature-inspired methods to solve human problems. SolarBotanic is focusing on energy production, and, to that end, they've developed what they call Energy Harvesting Trees. The trees aren't "real," (they're just modeled on real ones); these are composed of Nanoleafs, which use nanotechnology designed to capture the "sun's energy in photovoltaic and thermovoltaic cells, then convert the radiation into electricity." They also have stems and twigs which house nano-piezovoltaic material which act as generators producing electricity from movement or kinetic energy caused by wind or rain. The company has several patents on the technology already, and are currently seeking partners for funding and development. We don't really have any details about what these fake trees look like -- but Thom Yorke's probably going to write a song about them. Press release: http://www.prweb.com/releases/2009/02/prweb2133164.htm
  11. Quebec funds effort to build $130M river turbine farm on St. Lawrence River BECANCOUR -- The Quebec government is helping to bankroll a $130-million project by RER Hydro, Hydro-Quebec and Boeing to generate clean energy on the St. Lawrence River in what officials say would be the world's largest river-generated turbine farm. The three-phase project could eventually culminate in nine megawatts of renewable power being generated in Montreal from 46 riverbed turbines, with installation beginning in 2016. The province could contribute up to a maximum of $85 million in equity and loans. That's on top of the $3 million it has already provided RER Hydro Inc. for its initial $230-million prototype testing phase that lasted three years. Quebec, which is a leader in production of hydroelectricity, hopes that the technology will take off and support the manufacture of about 500 turbines annually and some 600 direct and indirect jobs at RER Hydro's plant in Becancour, near Trois-Rivieres. Premier Pauline Marois said at the plant's official opening on Monday that the government is actively helping new industries that hold promise for the Quebec economy, such as its strategy to support the electrification of transportation. "Our participation in this partnership agreement will promote the development of the industrial sector of turbines, which has great economic potential for Quebec, particularly because of the significant export opportunities," Marois said, while also stressing the job creation potential of the project. The technology has global market potential and could supply electricity to isolated communities in Northern Quebec not currently connected to the provincial power grid. The second phase of the project, estimated to cost $51.5 million, would install and test six turbines generating three-quarters of a megawatt of power near the Pont de la Concorde bridge near the Montreal Casino on Ste Helen's Island. About 25 jobs would be created in Becancour and Montreal. It would mark the first commercial sale of RER Hydro's technology. If results are successful, about $81 million would be spent to install a demonstration fleet of 40 turbines beginning in 2016. That would create 90 direct jobs and 80 indirect jobs from various suppliers. Unlike dams, the "hydrokinetic" turbines generate clean power without disrupting the river flow or the natural habitat of fish or other marine life, said RER Hydro CEO Imad Hamad. "This new industry will help to further transform Quebec's natural resources for the benefit of Quebecers," Hamad said. RER and Boeing (NYSE:BA), the U.S. aerospace and defence giant, signed an agreement last year giving Boeing exclusive rights to market and sell the turbines around the world. Boeing is providing program management, engineering, manufacturing and supplier-management expertise, in addition to servicing the turbines. "This agreement between industry and government will deliver renewable power while protecting the environment," said Dennis Muilenburg, CEO of Boeing Defense, Space & Security. "It also builds on Boeing's long-term, strategic partnership with Canada, supporting customers from aerospace and defence to clean energy, generating high-quality jobs and making a difference in the community." Boeing says it works with 40 suppliers in Quebec, contributing to the $1 billion in economic activity the company generates annually across Canada. Read more: http://www.ctvnews.ca/business/quebec-funds-effort-to-build-130m-river-turbine-farm-on-st-lawrence-river-1.1539132#ixzz2kRX062Vp
  12. Very interesting opinion on the current state employment trend http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/jun/05/digital-economy-work-for-free Merci au site MTLCity pour cette suggestion: http://w5.montreal.com/mtlweblog/?p=27514&utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter
  13. Quebec lags in IT spending Slowest growth. Ontario has highest investment per worker ERIC BEAUCHESNE, Canwest News Service Published: 8 hours ago Ontario and Alberta lead the other provinces in investment in information and communications technology per worker, which is increasingly seen as a key to boosting Canada's lagging productivity performance. In contrast, New Brunswick and British Columbia have invested the least in productivity-enhancing computers and telecommunications equipment and software, and Quebec's growth in such spending is the lowest among the provinces. Those are the findings of a report by the Centre for the Study of Living Standards released this week in the wake of news that Canada has suffered its longest slide in productivity in nearly 20 years, leaving output per hour worked here further behind that in the U.S., its main trading partner and competitor. The report noted that other studies have found that Canadian investment in information and communications technology, like Canadian productivity growth, lags that of the U.S. The focus of the Ottawa-based think tank's latest study, however, is on the varying levels of such investment within Canada. This year has been the first published breakdown by Statistics Canada of such investment by province. "Many factors affect productivity but ICT investment is a key one," economist Andrew Sharpe, the report's author and head of the research firm said in an interview. For example, the lower level of productivity in most of Atlantic Canada compared with Ontario has been linked to lower levels of ICT investment in Atlantic Canada, he said. Important ICT investment disparities exist, only some of which can be explained by the industrial makeup of the provinces, it said. All provinces have experienced strong growth in ICT investment this decade, led by Newfoundland with increases of nearly 15 per cent per year, almost double that in Quebec which had the weakest growth in such investment at 8.4 per cent. However, the actual level of investment per worker in 2007 varied widely. "These disparities ... may stem from many reasons: Lower levels of wealth, a lack of investment-friendly policies, policies favouring investment in other asset types or industrial structure. "Yet, the significant differences in ICT investment between provinces suggests that policy differences may be important in driving ICT investment," the report concluded. Provincial Breakdown Information and communications technology spending per worker: Ontario $3,870 Alberta $3,722 Canada $3,353 Saskatchewan $3,050 Quebec $2,953 Prince Edward Island $2,935 Newfoundland $2,765 Nova Scotia $2,716 Manitoba $2,688 British Columbia $2,674 New Brunswick $2,445 Centre for the Study of Living Standards
  14. Ontario's economic engine sputters RICHARD FOOT, Canwest News Service Published: 7 hours ago As Canada's industrial heartland struggles with a reeling automotive sector, high dollar and foreign competition, innovative value-added manufacturers - like Kitchener's Christie Digital - have found a way to thrive in the global economy When Barack Obama accepts his party's nomination for the U.S. presidency at the Democratic convention in Denver next month, his image will be displayed on giant screens at Mile High Stadium by digital projectors made in Kitchener, Ont. Christie Digital's projectors - highly engineered cubes of optical technology that sell from $20,000 to $100,000 apiece - also have been used at the Academy Awards, and are exported from Canada to cinema chains around the world as movie theatres discard their traditional projectors in favour of new digital equipment. Christie and its 400 employees are a manufacturing success story in a province, and a country, where factories are closing and Canadian-made products are steadily being killed off by foreign competition, a high dollar, soaring energy costs and a stagnant U.S. economy. "These are anxious times," Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty declared during an economic speech in May. Ontario's most severe manufacturing losses have come from the auto sector, which once fuelled the province's economic wealth but has shed more than 25,000 jobs over the past five years, according to the Canadian Auto Workers union. This summer, in particular, has brought an avalanche of bad news for the cities across southern Ontario whose fortunes are tied to those of the big North American automakers and their suppliers: S Three thousand jobs cut at General Motors' plants in both Windsor and Oshawa. S Two thousand jobs cut at Progressive Moulded Products plants near Toronto. S Another 400 jobs lost at the Magna International plant in St. Thomas and 720 at the city's Sterling Trucks. As the Ontario economy bleeds, Canada's resource-rich provinces - including two traditional have-not players, Saskatchewan and Newfoundland - are growing rich off the global commodities boom and surging exports of oil, potash, uranium and grain. Consider their sudden affluence relative to Ontario: In 2002, according to the TD Bank, Ontario had Canada's second- highest nominal GDP per capita, after Alberta, including a seven-per-cent advantage over the national average. By 2007, Ontario's per capita GDP had dropped to fourth among the provinces and was two per cent below the national average. This year, it's expected to fall to four per cent below the average. The TD Bank also predicts Ontario could become an equalization-receiving province as early as 2010. Despite the hardships facing the Ontario economy, there are enclaves of economic strength and good news, where innovative companies such as Christie Digital offer a way forward for manufacturers and resource-rich economies as well. "Selling resources during a commodities boom is great while it lasts," said Ihor Stech, vice-president (operations) at Christie. "But we need to be more intelligent about how we use our resources. Selling more value-added products would create a more permanent, global force out of our economy." Stech works at an old factory in the heart of Kitchener that was once filled with low-skilled workers churning out small electric motors, television sets and other consumer appliances for Electrohome, once one of Canada's most famous companies. While the Electrohome name still hangs on the outside of the building, and company CEO John Pollock keeps an office inside, globalization and low-wage Asian competition have pushed it to the sidelines. Pollock, whose grandfather founded the firm 100 years ago, is winding up Electrohome's affairs. "I have three employees today," he said, "compared to 4,300 in the 1980s." In 1999, Electrohome was a major player in the commercial-projection business, but lacked the cash necessary to purchase new technology, update its assembly line system and compete in the emerging digital-projection market. Rather than watch the business die a slow death, Pollock sold the projection arm, one of Electrohome's last operations, to U.S.-based Christie Digital, whose Japanese parent, Ushio Inc., had the deep pockets to renovate the Kitchener plant and pursue the necessary technology that would allow the operation to survive. "At the time (of the sale), this factory was very tired," Stech said. "It was a dark place - an old, historical building that required a lot of investment. The infrastructure of the plant is now almost completely changed." Today, the inside looks more like a modern surgical unit than a manufacturing plant. Workers in lab coats, hair nets and slippers circulate quietly around the clinically clean, brightly lit assembly floor, where high-tech projectors are pieced together by technicians following blueprints on computer screens. While a high school certificate was enough for most of Electrohome's former workers, many of Christie's employees have college diplomas in electronics, material sciences, plastics and optics. The company also employs 150 engineers on site, who design the projectors and discuss technical changes directly with the production staff. In the eight years since Christie took over, sales at the Kitchener plant have grown from roughly $100 million a year to $280 million and are expected to rise as markets for the company's product continue to expand. Christie's successful formula - a sophisticated, high-end product on the cutting edge of technology, built by a relatively small but well educated workforce - cannot be easily duplicated in the low-cost industrial factories of China or India, a fact that insulates Christie somewhat from cheap overseas competition. It's a business strategy shared by a handful of other thriving, high-tech manufacturers in the Kitchener-Waterloo area, including Research in Motion, maker of the BlackBerry wireless device. David Johnston, president of the University of Waterloo, which supplies many of the young engineers at both companies and fosters a climate of innovation in the local business community, said manufacturers can thrive in Canada in the face of overwhelming global pressures, as long as they remember the lessons of RIM and Christie: relentless innovation and investment, plus a focus on technology as a path to prosperity. "It's not just a challenge for manufacturing centres like Ontario, but for the whole country," Johnston said. "Resource booms come and go. Even in provinces like Saskatchewan, Alberta and Newfoundland, we have to work smarter." Said John Pollock: "The products made in our future factories will require little labour, but they will also require sophisticated components and be assembled in very sophisticated ways. The technology will make it successful, as opposed to low labour rates." Stech agrees that brains and technology are the keys to surviving low-wage foreign competition, but said competing merely with the developing world is not enough. "The threat from low-cost countries is only half the story. Canada also needs to be mindful of competition from countries just like us. A lot of our competitors come from Japan and Norway - not exactly the cheapest markets. "Is Canada really prepared to succeed against the most developed countries? I think we have a long way to go, specifically in terms of government policies." For example, Stech said southern Ontario's transportation infrastructure pales in comparison to what's available in Europe or Japan. He said a fellow executive at Christie's parent company in Japan, who lives in Kobe and works in Osaka, commutes by train every morning, working on his email or catching up on the newspaper, "and comes into the office fully prepared for his day." Stech, who lives in Mississauga and commutes a similar distance each morning, faces only one choice, an hour-long drive on a crowded highway. Stech said Canada's manufacturing heartland is undergoing a similar process of change and adaptation that shook England during the industrial revolution. "Steam engines were putting people out of work, and people said it's the end of living standards because no one will be able to make money. Well, that didn't happen," he said. "Industries and labour reapplied themselves to new technologies. "I believe we are going through that same stage as well. The key to industry in Canada is to keep in mind that we are competing on all fronts - against cheap-labour countries, but also against higher-labour-cost countries, developed countries with secure infrastructure. We need to be mindful of that competition as well."
  15. http://montrealgazette.com/news/local-news/two-montrealers-striving-to-improve-citys-economic-lot?__lsa=4920-2f19 Among the people charged with promoting Montreal’s economic development, Éric Lemieux and Dominique Anglade are on the front lines. They’re battling with other cities around the world as Montreal vies for scarce new jobs and investment dollars, often competing against lucrative incentives offered by other jurisdictions. Lemieux is trying to breathe new life into the city’s financial sector while Anglade seeks out high-tech companies, aerospace firms and life science businesses willing to invest here. Banks and insurance companies have moved their headquarters to Toronto and local stock exchanges have closed but Lemieux, who heads the private-public agency known as Finance Montreal, sees new opportunities ahead. “Canada has a stable economy with good financial regulation,” he says, and the country emerged from the 2008-09 financial crisis with a healthy banking sector. That should help to attract international banking activities. The city has an “excellent pool of talent supplied by its universities and business schools,” he says, with 8,000 students enrolled in finance programs. It also boasts much cheaper operating costs than places like New York and Boston. “Banks like BNP Paribas, Société Générale and Morgan Stanley all made the decision to locate some of their operations here.” Montreal has over 100,000 jobs in the financial sector and derives close to 7 per cent of local GDP from the 3,000 financial firms working here. It’s become an important centre for pension fund management, led by the giant provincial agency the Caisse de dépot et placement as well as other large players such as PSP Investments and Fiera Capital. The sector includes more than 250 money-management firms. The city is developing a new area of expertise in financial derivatives like futures and options on stocks, currencies and bonds, which are traded on the Montreal Exchange. And financial technology is also a selling point for Montreal. It has a growing presence in software development and information technology for the asset management industry, as traders look for every technical edge they can get. Part of Lemieux’s effort comes through the International Financial Centre program, which offers employment-based tax credits to financial firms that set up international operations here. “I think it’s a good success story,” he says. “There are more than 60 companies and 1,000 jobs that have located here” under the plan. “Seventy per cent of them would not be in Montreal if there wasn’t this support. We’re talking of $100 million in direct and indirect benefits.” Another important asset is the local venture capital industry, which finances startups and early-stage firms founded by entrepreneurs. The sector is led by such funding institutions as Teralys Capital and the Fonds de Solidarité. Put it all together and the portrait of the city doesn’t look too bad. According to the Global Financial Index — an international ranking that measures both size and industry perceptions — Montreal is the world’s 18th financial centre, up from 31st spot four years ago. Dominique Anglade runs Montreal International, the agency that prospects worldwide for foreign direct investment on behalf of the 82 municipalities in the Communauté métropolitaine de Montréal. Like Lemieux, she sees fierce competition for investment dollars. In this tough environment, the Montreal area has had its share of successes. 2013 was an exceptional year, as Montreal International helped to secure a record $1.2 billion in foreign direct investment (FDI). The year just ended will fall short of that mark but will “continue our momentum,” says Anglade. The city was recognized as having the best attraction strategy in North America in a survey by FDI Magazine, a sister publication to Britain’s Financial Times. The record performance was driven by several major expansions of foreign multinationals in the Montreal area, including French video-game maker Ubisoft and Swedish telecom giant Ericsson. The presence of multinationals is critical to the Montreal economy. They account for 20 per cent of local GDP and nine per cent of jobs, as well as a large share of private research and development. Montreal International’s task is to convince them not only to stay but to invest and expand here. Multinationals often pit one plant location against another to see which one will produce the best value proposition. Montreal International’s job is to stay in constant touch with the companies that have a presence here to find out what they want to accomplish and what they need to survive. Anglade targets certain niches where the city is already strong such as information technology, video games, special effects for movies and TV, aerospace and life sciences. Information technology represented by far the biggest share of the new money coming into the city in 2013. The video game industry also remains a strong performer, with five of the world’s top 10 selling games produced in Montreal. A significant percentage of deals — about 60 per cent — involve government financial assistance through provincial tax credits but Anglade doesn’t apologize for the financial aid offered to the private sector. “The competition in the U.S. has no limit. They have billions in terms of incentives and that’s why we have to be extremely strategic in Montreal and focus on specific sectors.” She notes that Swedish appliance maker Electrolux opted to close its plant in nearby L’Assomption, employing 1,300, and shifted operations to Tennessee after it was offered a rich package of incentives by three levels of government. Still, in industries that require more skill and knowledge, the availability of talent is Montreal’s strong point, Anglade says. “One of the surprises that people have about Montreal is its talent pool. I can’t tell you how many companies have said ‘wow, this is amazing’ when they start to fill positions here. It’s why we need to stress the importance of education. It’s critical for the future of Quebec.”
  16. Montreal’s economic development lags behind that of other Canadian cities and it needs greater political and economic powers to turn around its sagging fortunes, says a new study. It’s time to realize that Montreal is a motor of the Quebec economy that contributes more than it gets back, said BMO President L. Jacques Ménard, the chancellor of Concordia University. He unveiled the 162-page study by BMO Financial Group, in collaboration with the Boston Consulting Group, on Tuesday. “Montreal finances more than half of the public spending across Quebec, even, in fact, the Colisée,” said Ménard, referring to controversial plans to build a new arena in Quebec City. Yet Canada’s second-biggest city has no more powers than small towns like Ste-Adèle or Mascouche, Ménard said. Forced to rely on property taxes to finance repairs to its crumbling infrastructure, Montreal needs to be recognized and promoted as Quebec’s metropolis, he said. “We have to get away from the unfortunate idea, I think, that wrongly presents the development of Montreal as being antithetical to that of the regions,” he said. With slow population growth, stagnating personal income and sagging economic growth, Montreal has lost 20 per cent of its major head offices in 20 years, the report noted. A comparison with five other Canadian cities shows that Montreal’s GDP grew by only 37 per cent over the past 15 years, compared to 59 per cent on average for Toronto, Calgary, Ottawa, Edmonton and Vancouver. Montreal’s population only grew by 16 per cent compared to 33 per cent for the other cities. Unemployment remains at about 8.5 per cent in Montreal compared to 6.3 per cent in the other cities. And Montrealers’ disposable income has risen by only 51 per cent in 15 years, compared to 87 per cent for residents of the other five cities. “It has to do with the lack of us trying to create a milieu where ideas, people and technology conjugate to create innovation and to contribute to what you could call the new economy,” Ménard said. “One has to try and imagine what is Montreal going to look like 10 years from now? What are the new things we’re going to be doing and exporting that we’re not doing today?” he asked. For solutions, the report looked to seven world cities that have successfully regenerated their economies after going through periods of decline. They are Boston, Manchester, Melbourne, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, San Diego and Seattle. Researchers identified strategies all of the successful cities used to become more competitive in the global economy, Ménard said. They included strong municipal leadership, support from higher levels of government, centres of excellence that acted as catalysts for growth, improved quality of life and transportation, a focus on human capital at universities and colleges, and development of a strong identity or brand for the city. With its effervescent cultural scene, cultural diversity, cheap rents and key industries like aerospace, technology and medical research, Montreal has enormous potential to thrive, the report said. Ménard said one way to achieve that potential is to unleash the talent and expertise concentrated in its five universities (including the Longueuil campus of the Université de Sherbrooke) instead of treating institutions of higher learning simply as service centres. “Montreal is a revolving door,” he said, noting the city loses as many residents as it gains. Even though the city has a huge student population, it retains few graduates because most leave in search of better opportunities, the report found. Corruption scandals and the divisive debate over the charter of values also make the city a less attractive and welcoming place, it said. Researchers interviewed more than 50 community leaders from a variety of fields, including cultural industries, education, finance, industry, health, community organizations, politics and technology to delve into challenges facing the city. Ménard emphasized the initiative is non-partisan and said it was only a coincidence that the report, which was 18 months in the making, is coming out just before a provincial election campaign. Premier Pauline Marois is expected to call an election in the coming days or weeks. “They say coincidences can be lucky. If the revitalization of Montreal is part of the debate in the coming weeks, I think it will be good for Quebec,” he said. Ménard said Montreal is sorely neglected by other levels of government. “When you look at the Champlain Bridge, the Turcot Interchange, the state of our roads, I don’t think they would have tolerated that in Ottawa, or in Quebec City, or even in Toronto,” he said. He said he hopes Montreal will be front and centre in the coming election campaign. “If they mention the word Montreal more than 100 times, I’m going to break out the champagne because it doesn’t happen very often,” he said. Ménard said he hopes to rally citizens from all walks of life to join the effort to revitalize the city. A public meeting is planned for June 13 at the Palais des Congrès and will include people from business, higher education, social agencies, the arts and youth organizations. Mayor Denis Coderre said he fully support the initiative and will do all he can to achieve the dream of putting Montreal back on the road to prosperity. “I’m inspired today,” he said. [email protected] You can download the report, in French, here: http://www.bmo.com/ci/files/Creer_un_nouvel_elan_a_Montreal.pdf « PREVIOUS 1 2 View as one page NEXT » © Copyright © The Montreal Gazette
  17. Les gens viennent au centre-ville pour s'y établir et y vivre. On voit donc de plus en plus de tours d'habitations. Mais une des raisons pour lesquelles on planifie moins de grandes tours à bureaux est illustré dans l'article ci-dessous. Dell Wants Half of Employees Working Remotely By 2020 Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer in February generated a lot of attention when the company announced that employees could no longer work from home and had to come into the office. Mayer and other Yahoo officials said it was the right move for the company, arguing that Yahoo needed to improve communication and collaboration among employees, and that it was difficult to do without having the employees under the same roof. The decision went against the trend toward telecommuting—particularly in the tech sector—and was furiously debated, with critics saying that telecommuting boosted worker productivity, made for more satisfied employees, was a good recruiting tool, saved companies money and helped the environment. It also reportedly has engendered some anger from Silicon Valley residents, who say Yahoo's decision and similar ones by other tech vendors like Hewlett-Packard are key contributors to a worsening traffic situation in the area, according to Business Insider. However, Dell is laying out a plan to get half of its workforce to work remotely at least part of the time by 2020, which officials said will reduce the vendor's expenses while helping out the environment. The effort around increased telecommuting is one of more than two dozen goals outlined in a recent report by the newly-private Dell—called the "2020 Legacy of Good" plan—that officials are aiming for over the next six-plus years to reduce the company's impact on the environment. Other goals range from ensuring that 100 percent of Dell packaging is made from reusable or compostable materials, phasing out "environmentally sensitive materials" (such as mercury and berylium) as viable alternatives hit the market, getting 75 percent of employees involved in community service, and diverting 90 percent of all waste generated by Dell buildings away from landfills. Dell already offers flexible work schedules through its Connected Workplace program, through which 20 percent of employees telecommute, work remotely or have variable work times. Trisa Thompson, vice president of corporate responsibility at Dell, told Houston television station KVUE that having 20 percent of the company's 14,000 employees at Round Rock, Texas, saved Dell $14 million in 2012 and reduced CO2 emissions by 6,735 metric tons. Increasing the number of telecommuters and remote workers to 50 percent could result in more than 7,000 cars being taken off area roads, Thompson said. "Technology now allows people to connect anytime, anywhere, to anyone in the world, from almost any device," the Dell report reads. "This is dramatically changing the way people work, facilitating 24x7 collaboration with colleagues who are dispersed across time zones, countries and continents. Dell is a global technology leader, so our team members should be able to take advantage of the flexible work opportunities that our own products and services create." The company also has begun offering consulting services to customers looking to create similar flexible work schedules using Dell technology and expertise. According to the market research firm Global Workplace Analytics, telecommuting and remote working is becoming increasingly popular, with 3.3 million people in the United States—not including the self-employed or unpaid volunteers—saying their home is their primary place of work. Regular telecommuting grew by 79.7 percent between 2005 and 2012, and should grow to 3.9 million workers by 2016, according to the firm. Sixty-four million U.S. employees—about half of all workers in the country—are in a job that is compatible to telecommuting and remote working at least part of the time, Global Workplace Analytics reported. According to a March report by Staples Advantage, the B2B unit of retail chain Staples, 93 percent of employees surveyed said telecommuting programs are benefitting both them and their companies, and 53 percent of business decision makers said telecommuting leads to more productive employees. In addition, 37 percent of employers reported a drop in absenteeism, while 48 percent of remote workers surveyed said they are less stressed. However, there also were concerns: 59 percent of telecommuters don't use their company’s data backup system, putting sensitive information at risk, and 33 percent of employees said dealing with IT issues is one of the most difficult aspects of working from home. http://www.eweek.com/mobile/dell-wants-half-of-employees-working-remotely-by-2020.html#!
  18. St. Lawrence River to become a power plant? Tue Jul 27, 2:03 PM By The Canadian Press MONTREAL - The mighty St. Lawrence River will soon be home to a power-generating pilot project that could one day churn in rivers across Canada. The company that builds the underwater river turbines says the test phase will start off small, producing enough energy to power 750 homes. But RSW Inc. president Georges Dick says the technology has huge potential in Canada's biggest waterways, including the Mackenzie, Peace and Fraser rivers. The federal and provincial governments are funding one-third of the $18 million project. Federal Natural Resources Minister Christian Paradis says it's a low-cost, renewable energy source that will create hundreds of jobs. Paradis insists the spinning blades inside the three-metre-high turbines will not have an impact on underwater wildlife. The pilot project will see two turbines plunked into water off the shores of Montreal in the coming weeks. Quebec hopes to eventually use the technology to power its northern communities, which rely heavily on polluting diesel-fuelled generators.
  19. Montréal to host the 18th World Congress on Information Technology (WCIT) in 2012 MONTRÉAL, May 20 /CNW Telbec/ - The Palais des congrès de Montréal, the Information Technology Association of Canada (ITAC), Montréal International and Tourisme Montréal are proud to announce that the World Information Technology and Services Alliance (WITSA) will be holding its 18th World Congress on Information Technology in Montréal in 2012. Being awarded the Congress is significant for Montréal's information and communications technology industry as the event will draw 2,500 delegates, including the world's top executives in the ICT sector, a key component of Québec's economy. In addition to generating new business opportunities, the Congress is expected to bring in over $6 million to the city's economy. Vital collaboration Palais President and CEO Paul Saint-Jacques is very pleased about the international meeting coming to Montréal: "Securing this event confirms the Palais' enviable standing as a leading North American host site for international conventions. The partners' concerted efforts made it possible to satisfy the WITSA's criteria and to lead our strategy to a successful outcome, notably thanks to the important support of Tourisme Montréal. I congratulate and thank all partners for their vital collaboration." "This decision affirms Canada's reputation as a leading force in the global information technology industry," said Bernard Courtois, president and CEO of ITAC. "ITAC is a founding member of WITSA and has participated in many previous deliberations to select sites for our biannual conference. It's particularly thrilling to be part of the team promoting the idea of a Canadian city as host. And as a proud Montrealer myself, this decision is deeply gratifying. Our team can't wait to bring the global ICT industry here in 2012 to show off our city and the tremendous ingenuity of Canadian ICT". "This spells important news for Montréal, bolstering yet again the city's international stature as a hi-tech leader," declared Montréal International President and CEO André Gamache. "For an organization devoted to promoting Montréal internationally, especially by attracting international organizations, we are very pleased that our city has been awarded this major congress and that it will welcome hundreds of participants from all over the world." He also added: "Our thanks go particularly to the ministère du Développement économique, de l'Innovation et de l'Exportation and to the ministère des Affaires municipales et des Régions for their strategic support." "This is one of the most prestigious IT events anywhere, and it demonstrates once again that Montréal has what it takes to host the conventions of major and reputable international organizations. Also, the significant economic spin-offs is something the city's entire tourism industry is quite pleased about," declared Charles Lapointe, President and CEO of Tourisme Montréal. 80 countries represented The World Information Technology and Services Alliance is a consortium of 73 international ICT organizations whose members comprise 90% of the global IT market. The WCIT has been held in Kuala Lumpur, Athens, London and Bilbao. About the Palais des congrès de Montréal The mission of the Palais des congrès de Montréal, which celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2008, is to attract and host conventions, exhibitions/trade shows, conferences, meetings and other events. A public institution with a commercial vocation, the Palais generates important economic spin-offs for Québec and proudly contributes to the sharing and transfer of knowledge and to the enhancement of Montréal's international reputation as a first-class destination. For more information on the Palais des congrès de Montréal, visit our website at: http://www.congresmtl.com.
  20. Solar power trash bins hit Montreal streets Last Updated: Monday, May 28, 2007 | 5:30 PM ET CBC News The BigBelly garbage cans use solar panels to generate power. (Steve Rukavina/CBC) The City of Montreal is going solar in its bid to clean up downtown streets. The Ville-Marie borough has launched a pilot project starring BigBelly, a "green" garbage can that uses cordless compaction technology. The sun-powered trash cans compact garbage using solar energy, and can hold up to five times the volume of regular garbage cans. Compacting garbage reduces the need for trash collection and could decrease the all-too-common Montreal sight of overflowing rubbish bins.
  21. Montreal projects get $17M The Gazette Published: Monday, June 16 International Science and Technology Partnerships Canada Inc. today announced $17 million in research and development funding to support three Montreal-based projects involving Canadian and Indian companies. Beneficiaries include CAE Inc., Pratt & Whitney Canada Corp. and McGill University, according to an announcement today by Foreign Affairs Ministers David Emerson. The three projects include the application of biofuels for aviation, the design and development of a new generation of regional transport aircraft and an improved system for storing dangerous materials in aboveground tanks. "Our government understands the importance of establishing international research partners and the critical role science and technology plays in the new economy," said Emerson. "These joint projects will enhance the collaboration between our scientists and commercialize their discoveries." http://www.canada.com/montrealgazette/news/business/story.html?id=d92f9f3c-9ed2-48f3-a340-ded06146a499