Space for life

Rethinking the link between people and nature, cultivating a new way of living


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CA Canada


About the project Edit

Space for Life is a bold, creative and urban movement – a movement for those who are motivated in one way or another to rethink their relationship with nature, with the environment.

Space for Life is an initiative of the Botanical Gardens, Biodome, Insectarium and Montreal Planetarium. It is the joint declaration of these four leading institutions who by their various initiatives in distribution, conservation, research and education, helps people to better live with nature.

Together, they encourage a dialogue between disciplines. They offer the public a global vision of nature and the collective challenges that we all must face.

A major tourist attraction, Space for Life is part of the history and heritage of Montreal. It is the largest natural sciences museum complex in Canada and attracts 1.7 million visitors each year, 650,000 of whom are youth and 40% tourists.

Supported by a strong foundation and with major investments in infrastructure, as well as in the 2017 offer to propel the movement forward, Space for Life is a “living lab” where a new way of living will be fashioned together by Montrealers and citizens of the world.

Space for Life is a legacy for Montreal’s 375th anniversary.


In what ways is this project unique and creative? Edit

When challenges confronting the planet put our lifestyles in question, Space for Life’s vision is to stir emotions through nature, explain what nature is and instigate changes in behaviour towards nature.

Space for Life brings together researchers and the general public – science and emotions, biodiversity and city life. By letting its public live a memorable experience, it plays an especially important role in the planet’s future.

Space for Life provides lasting solutions, a new way of living.

What is the social value of this project? Edit

Biodiversity and humanity are two notions that are inseparable. When we talk about one, we can’t ignore the other.

Space for Life is, therefore, a co-creation that citizens participate in. They are encouraged to get involved in protecting biodiversity and show their imagination accordingly… and with enthusiasm!

Citizen involvement is a key component for Space for Life. Education, involvement and solidarity are without a doubt the route to follow so that every person feels responsible for the future of the planet and knows enough to be concerned and act concretely.

What is the potential of this project to expand and develop? Edit

Space for Life is a community project for Montreal and is an inspiration for communities worldwide.

It enriches Quebec and Canada’s established cultural heritage.

It helps position Montreal as an innovative and authentic metropolis that is engaged and open to the world.

It was involved in the enhancement of the Olympic Park and the revitalization of Montreal East.

Anticipated economic spinoffs from now until 2017 are just as significant: attendance will go from 1.7 million to 2.4 million visitors, an increase of 41%. Space for Life will employ 8,300 people, as well as contribute to more than $622 million to Quebec’s GDP.

*direct, indirect and induced

What was the triggering factor of this project? Edit

In 2009, 650 Botanical Gardens, Biodome, Insectarium and Planetarium employees met to reflect on the future of their institutions.

Together, they wrote a manifesto: their commitment to be “moved by nature, explain what nature is, change behaviour towards nature”…

What is the business model of this project? Edit

Our business plan focuses on growing the institutions’ self-generated revenue and self-financing due to major investments and meaningful projects.


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