Posted by: VPSN | April 20, 2010

VPSN Public Space News & Events | 20 April, 2010

Our ever-popular e-bulletin, here for your blog-reading pleasure!

VANCOUVER PUBLIC SPACE NETWORK NEWS

  • VPSN Operational Planning
  • Working Group Changes – Mapping & Wayfinding; Community Composting
  • PubliCity 3 – Play and Public Space
  • Whole Foods – Thank You!

UPCOMING VPSN MEETINGS & WORKSHOPS

  • Tuesday, April 20 @ 630 – Pedestrian Issues
  • Monday, April 26 @ 630 – Public Transit
  • Monday, May 3 – Community Gardens
  • Tuesday, May 4 – Urban Design
  • Sunday, May 16 – Parks Issues & Advocacy

PUBLIC SPACE BLOG RECAP

  • April 18, 2010 – A National Park for the Flathead Valley?
  • April 15, 2010 – Advocating against the corporate vote
  • April 6, 2010 – Vancouver Day: the city turns 124

VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES

  • Coordinators positions
  • Wednesday, May 5 – Volunteer Orientation Meeting

ENGAGE

  • West End Visioning
  • Translink – UBC Corridor Consultation

COMMUNITY EVENTS

  • Wednesday, April 21 – Active in Action
  • Sunday, April 25 – Pilgrimage to Burns Bog
  • Saturday May 1 – Sunday May 2 – Jane’s Walk(s)


VPSN NEWS

VPSN Annual Planning

We’ve been a bit quieter than normal in this post-Olympic period… but no less busy than usual.  Our efforts over March and early April have focussed on a number of planning exercises – a retreat in late March and some Strategic and Operational planning work that followed.  We’ve been diligently scoping out a number of exciting new initiatives that we will be rolling out very soon… starting just two days from now on Earth Day!

We’ll also be getting back to the business of holding our “big meetings” every few months or so.  For those that remember these popular sessions, they involved a cool mix of learning – a workshop or keynote with a guest public space expert – and then a reporting out on VPSN projects and activities.  Dates will be in place for these very shortly.

Working Group Changes – Mapping & Wayfinding; Community Composting

Part of our internal work recently has also involved taking a look at some of our project areas and doing a bit of shuffling around.  We’ve made two key changes to existing working groups.

In the first case, we’ve decided to split the current Mapping & Wayfinding Working Group into two.  Our Mapping experts will now be part of the VPSN Communications team and will (much as they’ve been doing already) lend support to all our campaigns.  Given our work with billboard and surveillance camera mapping (to name two recent examples) this seemed to make a lot of sense.  Similarly, our wayfinding advocacy will now be handled in by our Urban Design Working Group – which fits neatly with our past work promoting wayfinding as part of good urban design.

In the second case, we’ve decided to close down our Community Composting Working Group in light of the City’s move towards curbside composting (starting this Thursday, April 22).  Any compost “remnants” will be handled by the other Greenspaces Working Groups.

PubliCity 3 – Play and Public Space

Hopscotch?  Street hockey?  Playful design?  We are stoked about the next issue of PubliCity, the VPSN’s quarterly public space, urban affairs and civic issues magazine.  As we write, our production team is in the process of editing and layout of a gaggle of stellar contributions on the intriguing subject of play and public space.  Not to be too brazen or anything, but it’s shaping up to be our best issue yet!

We’re planning to release the new issue sometime towards the end of April or early May.  More news on this front (and a fun launch event) will be announced shortly.  First, however, we thought we’d take this opportunity to send a shout-out to Chloe Perron, our lead designer for PubliCity – with best wishes on the birth of her baby boy!  Congratulations Chloe!

While we’re at it, another round of thanks to all the folks who continue to order PubliCity 2 online — we really appreciate your support for this project and positive feedback about the magazine.  Keep it coming!  A reminder that the tidy sum of $6 an issue will get you your very own copy of the finest new publication in town.

:: For more information or to order your copy – check out the PubliCity webpage

Whole Foods – Thank You!

Finally, (before this issue of PS News and Events starts to sound too much like a Juno acceptance speech), we’d also like to say one more set of “thank yous.”  This time to our friends at Whole Foods (Capers) on both Robson and Cambie Streets.

We’ve been receiving support from these two stores through their paper bag refund program (bring your own shopping bags to the store and they’ll donate 10 cents per bag to us).  These dimes really add up, and we’re thankful for being able to participate in this program.  Props to all you folks who ask for your small change to be sent our way!  (And on that note… we’ll also be part of the Caper’s Earth Day celebrations this Saturday… so if you happen to be in the area, pop by to the 1675 Robson location between 1130 and 330 and say hi!)

VPSN MEETINGS & WORKSHOPS

Want to get involved with public space advocacy, lend a hand with a cool project or meet other people who care about the same issues you do?  We’ve got a roster of new Working Group meeting dates to share with people.  Everyone is welcome at these sessions, so please come on out!

Tuesday, April 20 @ 630pm – Pedestrian Issues Working Group

Join us at Rhizome Cafe (Broadway Avenue, just east of Kingsway) for a discussion of pedestrian issues – including pedestrian safety, neighbourhood walkability and more.

:: More information – natalie [at] vancouverpublicspace.ca

Monday, April 26 @ 630pm – Public Transit Working Group

The newspapers are alive with public transit issues right now – the Olympic streetcar, the UBC line and Evergreen.  Come out and join in a conversation on how we can use transit to improve city life.  This meeting will likely take place at the VPL Central Library (350 West Georgia) in one of the 4th or 5th floor meeting rooms.  Details to follow.

:: For more information – patrick [at] vancouverpublicspace.ca

Monday, May 3 – Community Gardens Working Group

Garden season has arrived!  The VPSN Community Gardens team has been working on four community gardening projects around the city and has some key initiatives that require help.  Feel like getting your hands dirty?  Time and Location TBD.

:: For more information – gardens [at] vancouverpublicspace.ca

Tuesday, May 4 – Urban Design Working Group

Where’s the Square (Part II) is on its way, as is the next phase of work on North East False Creek planning.  To get involved in either of these projects, or to jump in with other city planning and design issues, please come to our next Urban Design meeting.  Time and Location TBD.

:: For more information – scott [at] vancouverpublicspace.ca

Sunday, May 16 – Parks Advocacy Working Group

Interested in the state of the city’s parks and protected areas?  Got a local park issue that needs more attention?  Our Parks Advocacy Working Group might just be for you.  Time and Location TBD.

:: For more information – simon [at] vancouverpublicspace.ca

And for more information on all of the Vancouver Public Space Network’s campaign-related Working Groups please email us at info [at] vancouverpublicspace.

PUBLIC SPACE BLOG RECAP

Every few days or so we try to say something wise.  Here’s a recap of recent blog posts that may be of interest.

April 18, 2010 – A National Park for the Flathead Valley
…[W]e were especially keen on an article by Bruce Kirby in this weekend’s Globe and Mail.  The piece looks at the possibility that the Flathead Valley – located in the south-eastern corner of BC – might become a national park.  The area in question is adjascent to a UNESCO heritage area, as well as an already existing set of parks in Canada and the US. (More…)

April 15, 2010 – Advocating against the corporate vote
Earlier today the Vancouver Public Space Network sent off a submission to the Local Government Elections Taskforce. In October of last year, the Taskforce was charged with the reviewing issues relating to local government elections and has been gathering input with a view to recommending legislative changes “to improve the electoral process for local government elections across B.C.” (More…)

April 6, 2010 – Vancouver Day: the city turns 124

Today, April 6, marks the 124th anniversary of our home city’s incorporation.  It’s not a date that features prominently on too many wall calendars, granted, but perhaps it ought to.  After all, there’s so much to celebrate about this city and its inhabitants. (More…)

VPSN VOLUNTEER

In addition to a number of project-related volunteer opportunities, we’re currently looking for a few hearty souls to join our ranks as Working Group co-coordinators.  This is an excellent opportunity for people who are looking to help us out with a variety of planning, project management and advocacy-related activities.

In particular we are looking for

  • – Corporatization (Billboards) (1 co-coordinator)
  • – Guerrilla Gardening (1 co-coordinator)
  • – Parks Advocacy (1 co-coordinator)
  • – Cycling (2 co-coordinators)

Our communications team also needs some help as well.  We’re looking to fill two positions here:

  • – Photo Editor (PubliCity and VPSN Blog)
  • – Business Coordinator (PubliCity)

To find out more about any of these positions or to learn about other volunteer opportunities, please contact Erin O’Melinn, Volunteer Coordinator – erin [at] vancouverpublicspace.ca

Wednesday, May 5 @ 7:00pm – Volunteer Orientation Meeting

Another great way to find out about volunteer opportunities is to come out to our monthly volunteer orientation session.  The next meeting takes place in early May at Cafe Deux Soleils (2096 Commercial Drive).

ENGAGE

Thursday, April 22 @ 7:00pm – West End Visioning – Town Hall Meeting

The West End is currently facing not one but five substantial development applications, several of which are being advanced under the City’s STIR program (which aims to fast-track applications to create new rental accommodation).  Many residents in the community are concerned about the developments and have been petitioning Council for a neighbourhood visioning exercise.

On Thursday this week, a forum is being held to discuss impending rezoning proposals and how they might affect the neighbourhood.  7:00 to 8:30 pm, (Doors 6:30, children welcome). It takes place at the Coast Plaza Hotel, 1763 Comox St. (Comox and Denman) ballroom.

:: For more information see the West End Vision website

Translink – UBC Corridor Consultation

TransLink has just launched its public consultation for the UBC Line Rapid Transit Study, and this is a great opportunity for people to be involved in the planning of a major public transit project in the City.

The details: Translink is hoping to get public feedback on six preliminary concepts identified for the corridor – some of which include the return of the streetcar (good news for all you Olympic streetcar enthusiasts!).

There’s lots of ways to participate: there are 5 in-person workshops throughout April and May, an online questionnaire, and an online discussion board so people can voice their thoughts in detail.

To get involved, visit TransLink’s UBC Line “Be Part of the Plan” webpage.  You can also find more information on TransLink’s Buzzer blog.

COMMUNITY EVENTS

A sampling of some of the fine community events to be found on our VPSN Events Calendar.  Got an event to post?  Please send it our way – info [at] vancouverpublicspace.ca

Wednesday, April 21, 2010 @ 7pm – Active in Action: New principles for a sustainable world

How do we take the principles of active living, combine them with active transportation and expand our ideas and concepts to achieve a fully sustainable world? An ambitious question – and one that Dan Burden takes on in a new and fresh presentation… Venue: SFU Harbour Centre, 515 West Hastings Street, Vancouver BC Admission is free; as seating is limited, reservations are required. Reserve at http://www.sfu.ca/reserve

Sunday, April 25, 2010 @ 1:30 – Pilgrimage to Burns Bog

Burns Bog, known as the “Lungs of the Lower Mainland”, is a massive and precious environmentally sensitive wetland whose existence is now in jeopardy due to the Gateway Project’s proposed South Fraser Perimeter Road. We will walk together across the Alex Fraser Bridge, to experience a panoramic view of the Bog and toss our seashell prayers down to the Fraser. We will then be guided along the boardwalks and trails of the Bog, getting a very special tour of the history, flora, and fauna of this unique ecosystem.  Meet at 130 Chester Road, Delta BC.

Saturday May 1 – Sunday May 2, 2010 – Jane’s Walks

A series of self-organized walking tours taking place throughout Vancouver… celebrating the legacy of urbanist Jane Jacobs. details on specific walks can be found at http://www.thinkcity.ca

SUPPORT THE VPSN

The Vancouver Public Space Network is an all-volunteer, community-driven enterprise that works on advocacy, education and outreach pertaining to the city’s public realm.  We depend on your contributions in order to undertake our projects and activities.  Looking to lend a hand?  Please consider making a donation or signing up for one of our volunteer projects.  Thanks!

CONTACT

Vancouver Public Space Network
Box 2754 Station Terminal
349 West Georgia Street
Vancouver, BC, V6B 3X2

General info: info [at] vancouverpublicspace.ca
Newsletter Submissions: PubliCity [at] vancouverpublicspace.ca

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