In the late 1990s, the Quebec government put in place a number of incentives worth more than 2 billion dollars in order to attract related firms in designated zones. This “cités industrielles” policy, whose most prominent examples are Montreal’s Cité Multimédia and Cité du commerce électronique, and Quebec City’s Centre national des nouvelles technologies, seeks to create “synergies” between firms and to revitalize certain urban areas. This policy is not based on any detailed analysis.
The present study aims to fill this gap by summarizing the findings of studies that have looked at the link between technological innovation and geographical space, as well as various analyses that have examined the impact of this policy on Montreal’s commercial real estate market. Our conclusion is that the provincial government’s goal of reducing the tax burden for some firms is commendable, but that there is no reason to believe that adding a geographical constraint to these fiscal advantages will prove beneficial.
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