Posted by: VPSN | June 9, 2010

VPSN Public Space News & Events | 9 June 2010


•    Saturday, June 26 – Stick it to the Streets
•    The 9th Avenue Makeover: Turning Broadway into a Great Street
•    Sustainable Transportation & Neighbourhood Business Research
•    Great Trees Contest – Send Us a Pic of Your Favourite Trunks


•    Wednesday June 9 – Surveillance & Security
•    Monday, June 14 – Community Gardens
•    Tuesday, June 15 – Pedestrian Issues
•    Wednesday, June 16 – Parks Advocacy


•    Monday, June 14 – Volunteer Orientation Meeting
•    Wanted – Parks Advocate Co-Coordinator
•    Wanted – Bicycle Issues Co-Coordinator


Saturday, June 26 – Stick it to the Streets

How much music can be made with a pair of drumsticks and the street as the instrument? The Vancouver Public Space Network and friends will be descending on to Granville Street this June to Stick It to the Streets and find out. Bring your drumsticks, spoons, keys, and selves to join a crew of Vancouverites as they move through the city making music with the urban landscape. Will we expect impromptu drum battles? Spontaneous street dancing? Come down and see for yourself!

:: For more information, check out out the VPSN blog post or Facebook event

The 9th Avenue Makeover – Turning Broadway into a Great Street?

The City of Vancouver is currently undertaking an review of the Central Broadway Corridor – the portion of Broadway that runs from roughly Kingsway (in Mt. Pleasant) to Vine (in Kitsilano).  The intent of the planning exercise is to review a variety of land-use policies connected with the street and the surrounding area.

Broadway is the grand east-west avenue in the city – a major transportation route, a substantial business and retail corridor, and the site of some of the key intersections in Vancouver. Yet for all its importance, Broadway has never quite achieved its potential.  Among other things, its role as a public space (or site of public spaces) hasn’t received enough attention over the years.  Similarly, for a street of this stature, its position as a social or cultural space is under-whelming.  We think the present planning exercise offers a chance to take the street up a notch and to put the wheels in place to do something substantial with Broadway.

The VPSN has teamed up with the Planning department to hold two facilitated workshops that will be focused around a simple question: what would it take to turn Broadway into a Great Street?  We need your help to find this out.  The dates for these events are currently being finalized but will likely take place towards the latter part of June.  Please stay tuned.  We’ll be sending out more information in the near future and hope you’ll consider joining in the discussion.

:: For more information – broadway [at]
:: City of Vancouver Central Broadway Corridor webpage

Call for Volunteers – Sustainable Transportation and Neighbourhood Business Research Project

The VPSN is undertaking a study to examine the relationship between sustainable transportation and shopping patterns of residents and visitors on four commercial streets in Vancouver.  The study will survey people’s modes of travel and their associated spending, explore the potential “business case” for sustainable transportation, and look at how specific changes in street use and allocation of space (e.g. pedestrianized streets, separated bike lanes, etc.) could affect the attractiveness of these streets as a place to shop and visit.

On-street surveys will be undertaken on Wed. June 23, Sat. June 26, Wed. June 30, Sat. July 3. We need help with the on-street survey collection, which will be done in pairs.  Interested in lending a hand? Please let us know.

:: For more info or to RSVP – Andrew Baxter andrew.baxter [at]

Great Trees Contest. Send Us A Pic of Your Favourite Trunks. Win a Prize!

Our Great Trees contest is unfurling itself, leaf-like, over the city.  So far, we’ve had three prize draws and given away some excellent books on trees, forests and parks.

But things are moving a little more slowly than anticipated – and we need your help.  We’re trying to profile the stars of the city’s urban forest and are looking for people to send us a picture of their favourite Vancouver tree.  Our goal is to publish these images and the accompanying stories and to produced a community-based map of the city’s favourite leafy giants.

If you have a chance this weekend, take a moment to snap a picture of your favourite tree and send it our way!  Help us to pay homage to our urban forest.

:: For more information –


Wednesday, June 9 – Surveillance & Security Working Group Meeting

New and returning volunteers are invited to join us on the 9th as we discuss various projects related to surveillance & security in Vancouver. We’ve had some recent success in raising awareness around the Province’s push to greenlight the use of CCTV in public schools.  We’ve got some other surveillance camera advocacy work in process and are also looking to undertake research into community policing in the city.  The meeting takes place at 6:30pm at SFU Harbour Centre, Room 3100.

:: For more information – heather [at]

Monday, June 14 – Community Gardens Working Group

The Community Gardens Working Group will be holding our next meeting on Monday June 14th at 6pm. We are hoping that the weather will have improved by then, so will be holding the meeting on the grassed area on the Coal Harbour seawall (at the bottom of Bute Street, beside The Mill Pub and Restaurant). We will provide blankets – please feel free to bring drinks and snacks.  If the weather hasn’t improved we can retreat to a nearby cafe.

We would like to hear your community gardening ideas and feedback, so feel free to come along and share your thoughts. We are working on a number of projects this year and are always interested in welcoming new volunteers who would like to get involved with Vancouver Public Space Network.

:: More information – gardens [at]

Tuesday, June 15 – Pedestrian Issues Working Group Meeting

Help us explore the twin issues of pedestrian safety and community walkability.  The next Pedestrian Issues meeting will take place a week from now and everyone is welcome.  There’s lots to talk about as well: a potential motion at City Council to make pedestrian advocacy more of a priority, a push to make Vancouver the greenest city by 2020, and the creation of new, pedestrian-friendly infrastructure.   Mark your calendar! The meeting will take place at 6:30pm, location TBD.

:: For more information – natalie [at]

Wednesday, June 16 – Parks Advocacy Meeting

There’s lots happening in the world of parks and park planning – from the redesign of Granville, to the debate around letting anti-HST petitions in community centres.  The VPSN’s newest Working Group is looking to connect with people who are interested in these and other issues.  Join us at 6pm at the Italian Garden in Hastings Park (weather permitting, otherwise, The Grind on Main and King Edward).

:: For more information – simon [at]


Monday, June 14 – Volunteer Orientation

Our monthly VPSN 101 session takes place next Monday.  It’s a great opportunity to learn more about the Network and the various volunteer opportunities that exist.  The meeting takes place at 7pm at SFU Harbour Centre, Room 3047.

:: RSVP to Erin O’Melinn, Volunteer Coordinator – erin [at]

We also have a few key coordinator positions that we’re trying to fill.  These offer great learning and leadership opportunities, fantastic connections and lots of fun.

Parks Advocate – Co-Coordinator

We’re in the process of developing a Working Group that will look at parks issues – including the design and planning of parks and parks facilities, their social use, and  the regulatory aspects that affect these spaces (as enacted mostly by the City’s Board of Parks and Recreation).  We’re looking for a keen volunteer who can help us to develop this working group, activate a volunteer team and assist with

•    monitoring a variety of parks issues and following them as they unfold;
•    keeping on top of related media;
•    providing input where necessary and connecting the dots between these issues and other VPSN working groups (e.g. community gardens, urban design,public art, etc.) as relevant;
•    raising awareness in the community about these issues, creating opportunities for engagement, identifying areas of common concern among neighbourhood groups etc.

If this sounds like something you’d be interested in, please contact Erin O’Melinn – erin [at]

Bicycle Transportation – Co-Coordinator

Our team is expanding to provide dedicated coverage to the various  key modes of sustainable transportation.  We’re looking for two people who can help to develop our Bicycle Working Group and enable us to work effectively on a range of cycling issues:

•    cycling infrastructure – including advocacy around the development of bike lanes, bike locking infrastructure, bike share programs and other support systems that will enable more people to cycle;
•    culture-shifting – including the promotion of cycling as an effective, healthy, sustainable mode of transportation.

To learn more, please contact Erin O’Melinn – erin [at]


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!


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