Ed. note: This post is courtesy of a City of Vancouver news release. VPSN has been proud to support these initiatives and continues to work with the City to refine the methods through which initiatives such as this can be evaluated for their role in increasing the vibrancy of public life.
This weekend, VIVA Vancouver kicks off across the city, transforming street spaces into people places and giving local residents extra space to walk, bike, dance, skate, sit, hang out with friends and meet their neighbours.
The free, summer-long program will create engaging public spaces and a more vibrant street culture in neighbourhoods across the city through street space transformations and activities. VIVA Vancouver is hosted by the City of Vancouver and many local community and business organization partners.
“Building on the success and popularity of family-friendly open street programs like last year’s Rediscover Granville, people of all ages can enjoy themselves at VIVA Vancouver this summer,” said Mayor Gregor Robertson. “When the weather warms up, Vancouverites like to get outside in their communities, and VIVA Vancouver will provide more opportunities through new pop-up plazas, pocket parks, and local arts and culture to enjoy themselves.”
Granville Street will also be closed on weekends again this summer. Starting June 25 and every weekend this summer until Labour Day, in partnership with the Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association and Translink, Granville Street (between Smithe and Hastings streets) will be transformed into a pedestrian corridor, playing host to community events and other unique activations for people to enjoy. A highlight for June 25 is a high-energy afternoon of skateboarding competitions and demonstrations; all skateboarders welcome.
On June 26, from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Granville Street (between Smithe and Dunsmuir) will be closed to bring the city’s colourful Latin heritage to Latincouver, a fun celebration including food, soccer, music, dancing, games, marketplace and activities.
The VIVA Vancouver model is based on best practices learned from three projects that re-imagined public spaces in innovative ways: Summer Spaces 2009, the 2010 Olympic pedestrian corridors and Rediscover Granville in 2010.
VIVA Vancouver has grown out of these projects with the public’s support. Its three main goals are to:
- create a variety of public spaces for a mix of engaging activities and sojourning;
- increase neighbourhood liveability benefiting residents, businesses, community groups and visitors;
- and, encourage sustainable and active transportation by creating more safe and interesting spaces for walking and cycling, part of the City’s Greenest City Action Plan.
VIVA Vancouver differs from car-free days that are one-day, large-scale events. The program offers a variety of planned and spontaneous activities, including pocket parks, pop-up plazas, and showcases of local arts and culture at various street and laneway transformations all summer-long.
Creating strong business and community partnerships is an important part of VIVA Vancouver achieving these goals. The City of Vancouver thanks all partner organizations who will help to bring our streets to life in creative and engaging ways during VIVA Vancouver.
Visit VIVA Vancouver to learn more about what’s happening across the city this summer.