Posted by: VPSN | March 1, 2011

VPSN News & Events | March 1, 2011

Check out the latest VPSN newsletter… which was sent out to our subscribers earlier this afternoon…

  • Feature Article – North East False Creek – Up for Rezoning
  • Upcoming VPSN Meetings – (Transit, Public Art and more…)
  • Public Space Events – Greenest City Camp
  • Volunteer – Jobs & Next Volunteer Meeting
  • Blog Roll

FEATURE STORY:  North East False Creek – Up for Rezoning…

After years of discussions between City planners, property owners, and members of the community, development in North East False Creek has taken its first major step toward construction after several evenings of public hearings over the last two weeks. The decisions regarding these applications and the details within will set the tone for future applications. A brief description of the first rezoning applications is:

1. 777 Pacific Boulevard (for the casino/entertainment complex and stadium improvements);
2. 10 Terry Fox Way (eastern side of the Cambie Bridge off-ramp, known as Concord area 5b East) and;
3. 10 Terry Fox Way (its western counterpart, 5b West)

The VPSN encourages anyone interested in learning more about the details of these applications to visit the City’s website and read the reports for each property. People also have the option of attending the next public hearing March 7th so they can share their concerns in person. Links to the Staff Reports to Council, and more information about the proposed development in Northeast False Creek can be viewed on the City’s webpages, and you can also see a longer VPSN blog post on the subject here.

The residents of the False Creek area have been working hard to advocate for benefits that bring direct improvements for their own neighbourhood.  So far, the Community Amenity Contributions (CACs) suggested have proven to be a disappointment for many and a windfall for the developer – Concord.

It is for the reasons noted below that the Vancouver Public Space Network will not support the rezoning application for 5B East and West and urge City Council to revisit the CAC’s to better reflect the needs of the community and livability of Vancouver.

The proposed CACs:
• Describe no benefit to the immediate neighbourhood or larger community
• Inadequate in meeting current and future residents needs
• Identify only marginal or temporary public open space
• Do not provide affordable housing in the NEFC neighbourhood

The proposed list of CAC’s for the rezoning applications of 5b east and west describe a serious oversight and a lack of understanding to the needs and expectations of the local community and of Vancouverites in general. This oversight is illustrated in many ways. One example is the proposed “amenity” of the leftover, dark, noisy and cramped space under the Cambie Bridge off ramp offered as public “recreation” space. This offer is a bonus for the developer as it cannot be developed for profit and has very limited use for the public.  Appropriate community benefits that will directly improve livability for the existing residents, and the future thousands who will live there in the years to come, will prove to be the true means of measuring success for NEFC.  Now is the opportunity for Council to maximize this opportunity, to get the ‘biggest bang for their buck’, and help realize the fullest potential for NEFC.

:: For more information on the VPSN’s work on NEFC – urbandesign [at]

ENGAGE: Upcoming VPSN Meetings

Monday, March 7, 2011 – Public Transit Working Group Meeting
We will be discussing policy positions that will feed into the Public Transit portion of the upcoming VPSN manifesto, as well as get an update on the status of projects on our horizon: Turnstiles in SkyTrain Stations, and our Bus Pass Ad Space Reclamation event.  Meeting takes place at SFU Harbour Centre (room TBD) at 6:30pm
:: To RVSP email Karen – quinn [at]

Thursday March 3, 2011 – Transit Project Meeting – Turnstiles in SkyTrain Stations
This is a project meeting to brainstorm project ideas that explore the future installation of turnstiles in SkyTrain stations and the impacts of both turnstiles and smart cards on SkyTrain stations as quasi-public space. Meeting takes place at Vancouver Public Library – Central Library in Library Square, Thursday, March 3rd, 5:30pm
:: To RVSP email Karen – quinn [at]

Thursday March, 3, 2011 – Public Art Working Group Meeting
The Public Art group will be meeting this Thurs, Mar 3rd in the Central Library downtown – exact meeting location will be sent out shortly. We’ll be teaming up with a local arts team to plan out VPSN’s role in helping them install and run a cool, under the radar, public art project. The project will involve video projections and special access to a sealed off part of the Burrard Bridge. Come meet with us and find out how you can get involved!”
:: To RVSP email Jaspal – jaspal [at]

PARTICIPATE: Public Space Events

A sampling from our events calendar. If you’ve got an event you’d like to share, please send us an email at events [at]

Thursday, March 2 – Saturday March 5, 2011 – Community Economic Development Conference
The Canadian CED Network, together with their members in BC are hosting a gathering for everyone interested in organizing for change in their communities. The event will launch with guided visits to projects and initiatives in Vancouver that demonstrate successful applications of community economic development followed by a full day of workshops and dialogue. 
:: More information

Saturday, March 05, 2011 – Greenest City “UnConference”
Join City of Vancouver staff and community members as they jam on making Vancouver the greenest city in the world.  The day will be an “unconference” which means that all of the participants -that’s you! – jointly create the agenda and lead discussions, talk about projects and find solutions. We provide the space, some background information, the coffee, the cookies and some fun. Then turn it over to you!

It’s a lot of chaos, a lot of connection, a lot of fun and will result in a lot of action. You will also have the opportunity to meet folks from the City, learn about the draft Action Plans, and help fine tune and prioritize actions before they go to City Council.
And by the end of the day, everyone should leave with concrete ideas and action items on how they fit into the map of making Vancouver the Greenest City by 2020.  The event runs from 8:30 AM – 4:30 PM at the SFU Wosk Centre for Dialogue, 580 West Hastings Street.

If you don’t have your tickets yet, buy them today through @ethicalDealVan for $12 (52% off):
:: To register visit their website here


Wednesday, March 2, 2011 – Volunteer Orientation Session
Want to get involved in public space research, advocacy and action?  Join us for our monthly volunteer orientation – a helpful session that gives an overview of the VPSN’s mission, what we do, and how we do it.  The meeting runs from 6:30-7:30pm and is open to the public.  Takes place at SFU Harbour Centre, 515 West Hastings, in one of the 3rd Floor meeting rooms.
:: To RSVP erin [at]

Volunteer Jobs
We’re currently looking for a few dedicated folks to fill coordinator positions.  These require a bit more work, but come with great rewards.  

  • Corporatization & Privatization Coordinator
  • Democratic Spaces Coordinator – focusing on municipal election activity
  • Pedestrian Issues Coordinator
  • Cycling Issues Co-Coordinator
  • Urban Design Co-Coordinator
  • Communications Co-Coordinator

To find out more about these positions and what’s entailed, please contact Erin O’Melinn – erin [at]

Other Volunteer Opportunities:

Vancouver Area Cycling Coalition – Seeks Board Members
The Vancouver Area Cycling Coalition is seeking nominations to serve on their board of directors.   Their AGM is March 26th and they welcome applications from interested community members.  
:: For more info – Lori Kessler,


A recap of some of our popular posts from the past month or so…

February 24, 2011:  Favourite places and the people that inhabit them: heritage spots and Granville dance parties
This just in… a couple of interesting public space-related initiatives that you might have heard about, which combined tell something of a story about public life in Vancouver….

Feb 18, 2011 A dose of culture: weekend public space events at the Museum and Art Gallery
Profiling the excellent WE: Vancouver exhibit at the Vancouver Art Gallery… which the VPSN is very proud to be part of!

February 15, 2011 – Poor David Lam Park…
Poor David Lam Park can’t cut a break…As we speak, half of David Lam Park’s main field (and with it: most of it’s functionality) is closed off due to construction of BC Hydro’s City Central Transmission Project.

February 15, 2011 – Cameras on the streets of Van-town
A couple months ago, we shared our thoughts with you on the extension of ICBC’s intersection camera program. As part of a $23 million program, 140 new cameras have been introduced to intersections around the province ….

February 7, 2011 – Greenspace planning: a tale of two measures
When the City’s Bright Green Future Report was first produced, it contained a number of draft goals and targets – one of which was that Vancouverites should have “incomparable access to nature”…

January 31, 2011 – Jan Gehl: cars and effect
Jan Gehl designs Cities for People. In a field dominated by the sweeping sculptural works of starchitect icons such as Frank Gehry and Zaha Hadid, Gehl instead practices a slow and iterative approach to intervening in urban life – and, in particular, ‘life between buildings’…

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