This article was adapted from our latest book, "Sharing Cities: Activating the Urban Commons." Download your free pdf copy today.

The Rosemont–La Petite-Patrie borough of Montréal, Canada, modified its by-laws to allow its residents and property owners to earn money for the use of their parking spaces by other individuals. The by-laws regulate peer-to-peer rental of driveways for parking, as well as homes and garages for storage, and yards for gardening. Previous restrictions prohibited such commercial activities in residential areas. The new regulations optimize the use of existing, privately-owned spaces through shared use.

The neighborhood, which is a hip commercial area with high-traffic health facilities, has lacked adequate parking for several years. Meanwhile, hundreds of driveways of nearby residences lay vacant during the day. The by-laws were modified to allow these private parking spaces to be rented out in order to offset the need to build new parking structures.

The new policies also permit the rental of yards for community gardening, which is growing increasingly popular in the area. People that want to grow vegetables or flowers are now able to rent land directly from neighbors. The by-laws were also modified to allow the rental of spaces in homes and garages for storage.

Officials representing the area passed these rules out of a commitment to modernizing their city through shared use, which they saw as a pragmatic solution to growing resource constraints. They were determined to enable these new uses in the simplest way possible, and did so by clarifying existing regulations, rather than drafting new policies from scratch. The by laws were also modified to deter corporations from capitalizing on these spaces. For example, the spaces for storage or gardening may not exceed mandated sizes, and shops may not rent from residences to store merchandise.

View the full policy here (French).

Sharing Cities: Activating the Urban Commons

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This policy is adapted from our latest book, "Sharing Cities: Activating the Urban Commons." Get a copy today.

Header image by Caribb on Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Mai Sutton


Mai Sutton |

Mai is a freelance organizer and writer based in Oakland, California, focused on the intersection of human rights, solidarity economics, and the digital commons. She was formerly at Shareable as the Community Engagement