Myriam Guillemette is a postdoctoral fellow at the Université du Québec à Montréal under the supervision of Lucie K. Morisset and a researcher at the UNESCO Chair in Urban Landscape at the Université de Montréal. She holds a doctoral degree in urban studies from the Université du Québec à Montréal. She specializes in questions regarding winterity and nordic studies. Her doctoral thesis pertained to Montreal’s winter identity and the scientific relation between winter as a social construct and the unique characteristics that define the urban context. Her association with various pluridisciplinary research teams allows her to further her research on the various notions of heritage, more specifically intangible and cultural heritage. Holder of a master’s degree in urban planning from the Faculty of Environmental Design of the University of Montreal as well as a bachelor’s degree in urban studies from York University, Myriam has a keen interest for spatial planning and the development of citizen’s involvement in decision-making processes. Her professional experience includes work in the municipal and non-profit sectors, where she worked on furthering the notions of sustainable development and eco-districts on a local scale, notably the borough of Lachine, located in Montreal.
Company towns and deindustrialization, industrial heritage as a level for development; a digital platform
The project undertaken as part of this postdoctoral fellowship, carried out at the Canada Research Chair in Urban Heritage under the supervision of Lucie K. Morisset, focuses on the processes of deindustrialization, referring here to the gradual disappearance of the manufacturing industry and the consequential destruction of industrial jobs, which began during the 1970s. An overview of the scientific literature notes the need for further research, evoking the hypothesis that the consequences of this process fuel the sense of disillusionment in modern society and contribute to the pervasive tension that defines the current political context.
In that context, the project takes into consideration the local context and the resulting economic and social repercussions, so as to enrich conceptual and theoretical knowledge. The project mobilizes the notion of Spatial Humanities, which uses the digital environment to densify the interpretation of localized historical phenomena. It thus relies on a cartographic database (deep mapping) of company towns in North America, to which it contributes specifically by listing and documenting heritage initiatives, while compiling a catalogue of good practices with regard to the role of heritage in mitigating the harmful effects of deindustrialization, with the objective of creating sustainable living environments. We consider here international issues as a potential generator of local action. In light of this analysis, we explore the conception of knowledge and know-how in the field of heritage as levers for sustainable and balanced territorial development and the need, to achieve this, to promote popular knowledge and the ongoing commitment of local actors.