Created in 1995 by the City of Montréal, the Éco-Quartier program encourages boroughs to improve the quality of living spaces and reduce their environmental impact. Éco-quartier Peter-McGill
was founded in 1997 and serves the Peter-McGill district in the Ville-Marie borough. Éco-quartier is an organization promoting sustainability, and it focuses on four aspects of sustainability: waste management, cleanliness, beautification and greening. In the past Eco-quartier has focused on local needs in order to solve problems and improve local communities. SAESEM has been mandated to carry out the program.
The pilot project Quartier 21 - Mon îlot vert en Ville in the Peter-McGill district was a 5 year project meant to improve the built environment of a city block in the heart of downtown Montreal. Quartier 21 is an experimental site that demonstrates sustainable development, provides outreach to communities, raises awareness and encourages participation with regard to environmental, social and economic matters. The project was to focus on several initiatives geared toward urban heat island effect and mitigation initiatives.