Posted by: VPSN | April 30, 2011

V is for voting… and for turning five

Talk about a way to appreciate public space — wasn’t today the finest Saturday we’ve had in while?  Here’s hoping you had a chance to enjoy the brilliant weather, blue sky and soul-warming sunshine that’s been infusing the city.

A few quick-yet-important weekend announcements to share with you all.

First up, a reminder about next week’s VPSN “Turn V With Us” Birthday Party!  The Network  is five whole years old… and to mark the occasion we’re having a celebration at the Bayside Lounge at Denman and Davie.  It’s a fine spot for a gathering – a bit of ‘old Vancouver’ (ok, Expo-era old), with an excellent round room and a panoramic view of English Bay.

Our advice: plan to root for the Canucks on Tuesday and Thursday, and plan to treat yourself to a bit of mid-week fun with us — a slice of birthday cake, some party favours and other excellent shenanigans.   We turn V on Wednesday, May 4 starting at 7:00pm and we want you there along with us!  (Map)

In related news, the VPSN crew is out of the city this weekend on the first of our bi-annual, rolling-up-the-sleeves, getting-down-to-business planning retreats.  We carve out these sessions so that our coordinator team can get together and work through organizational development issues and collaborative projects.

Just for fun, here’s a snap of the crew from earlier today.  Almost as good as a mid-80s hair-rock band photo.


This session we’re spending some time plotting out version 2.011 of our public space manifesto.  We produced the first one in 2008 in time for the last municipal election and are gearing up to do the same for this year’s contest.  As with the last one, we aim to make this one a collaborative venture — and are looking for your input to help shape the collective “ask” we make of our local politicians.  To this end, we want to know:

What do you think are the key public space issues in Vancouver?

How do you think our elected officials should attend to these issues?

Send any ideas you might have (a couple of sentences is all that’s needed) to info [at]

And one final note — speaking of elections — Monday is e-day in Vancouver.  Five ridings in Vancouver and dozens more across the region will be electing the people that will be representing our corner of the country in Ottawa.

This is an election that started with a whimper but may yet end with a bang.  It’s certainly proving to be a more exciting contest than anyone would have predicted.  Public space issues, like the urban agenda in general,may not have fared all that well in the platforms of the major parties, but despite that, cities will factor prominently in the policies and actions of whatever combination of parties get into power.

Your part in this process is just as important as ever.  Don’t give the social scientists any more reason to grumble about declining engagement — make sure that you do your part and get your vote on.   Polling station and election-day information can be found here.


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