Abstract Collaborative planning experiences aimed at revitalizing distressed communities point to three key elements for successful interventions. They are: an integration of the relevant activity sectors, the participation of social actors and the general public and a capacity to generate concrete results. This article's purpose is to situate Montreal's program of Revitalisation Urbaine Integree in relation to five similar programs in Europe and North-America that inspired it by comparing the selected approaches. We will be looking at the programs rhetoric, their characteristics and their results as consigned in evaluation reports. We propose to provide a critical analysis of these foreign programs and a comparison with Montreal's program to outline its specificities. The analysis addresses key dimensions emphasised in the theory and applied in the programs.