General Manager, ACUUS
After a first degree in architecture and a Master in urban planning of the University of Montreal, Mr. Besner worked for 30 years as a municipal planner at the City of Montreal. At the head of a multi-disciplinary team, he developed guidelines and criteria, and overviewed the expansion and the planning of the Montreal Underground City. He has been also involved in transfer of expertise on underground space, like in Moscow, New York, Shanghai and many other Chinese cities. He gave several lectures abroad, mainly on the development and planning of the urban underground space. In 1996, he co-founded the Associated research Centers for the Urban Underground Space (ACUUS) and incorporated it in Canada a year later. He became its Secretary General, in charge of its Secretariat in Montreal, and has been involved in the Organizing Committee of most of its Conferences. Since 2007, he is acting as the General Manager of ACUUS. Retired from the City of Montreal since 2010, he is also working as an independent consultant in urban underground space planning. Last year, he was appointed by the STM (transport authority of Montreal) as a Commissioner for public consultation on subway station modification projects.
Public Hearing For Underground Space Development: The Canadian Experience
Examples in the world of public consultations, specific to underground projects, are infrequent and rarely framed by laws or regulations. When they are held, it is either about major public projects such as pipelines or metro lines, or on private projects that have some impacts at the surface, justified or not. In many cases, public bodies are often destabilized by the reaction of activists or citizens claiming NUMBY (Not Under My Back Yard). The presentation will use various experiences of public hearing, mostly in Canada, to draft recommendations on how to integrate it into a planning process and to reach consensus and agreement amongst stakeholders.