Posted by: VPSN | April 30, 2012

VPSN Public Space News & Events – April 30, 2012

Fraser River from the Air - ttcopleyThe Fraser River – an important part of the discussion in the
Marpole Community Plan – launching May 1. Photo by ttcopley

Editor’s note: the original version of this post indicated that the West End and Grandview-Woodland Community Stories events were scheduled for Thursday, May 11 and Friday, May 12 respectively. The correct dates are Thursday, May 10 (West End) and Friday, May 11 (Grandview-Woodland).

It’s been a little while since our last newsletter and we wanted to give you a quick update on some of our projects, as well as some other awesome things taking place around town.

First, a quick organizational note: the VPSN has recently being doing some retooling work that will better enable us to offer a mix of engaging public space projects (the fun stuff that everyone loves) and broader, issues-based advocacy. We’ll be rolling out details of these changes shortly.

The more immediate news is that we have a lot of cool things in the works, including: a summer time long-table event called Lunch Meet, a transit-related competition for graphic designers, some public space mapping work in the downtown (help needed!) and a storytelling project called P.S I love you. And back by popular demand… laser graffiti.

And while we’re at it, there’s a few other current initiatives that we wanted to alert you to:

Space98 – Transforming an Unused Transit Stop

Sometimes it’s the small interventions that really get people’s attention. Recently, our VPSN Transportation team – led by Cycling Coordinator Brandon Yan – installed a peel ‘n stick chalkboard on a disused bus shelter at Granville and Broadway. Along the board itself, they left a nice quote by Jane Jacobs and an invitation to the community to imagine what the space might be used for. People loved it!

Coast Mountain Bus Company – who ‘own’ the shelter – weren’t sure what to make of it at first… but the opportunity to engage the community directly on questions like this has caught their eye.

So here’s a question for you: What sorts of unused or underutilized spaces exist in your neighbourhood? And how have you dreamed about activating these spaces. Send us your ideas. We’ll gather them into a compilation, map them, and share them back with you over the next few months.

:: Underused public spaces and places? Email eliana [at] vancouverpublicspace [dot] ca

:: More on Space98 – Brandon [at] vancouverpublicspace [dot] ca

Mobile Speakers’ Corner

Lots of other cities have Speakers’ Corners – London, Sydney, Toronto, to name just three – but not Vancouver. Strange eh? Thankfully, all that’s about to change – as the VPSN Democratic Spaces team is working on a mobile Speakers’ Corner for use around Vancouver.

Interested in seeing some good ol’ fashioned public debate? Hankering for your own 5 minutes on the soap-box? The Speakers’ Corner is being built this week and will be ready for roll-out shortly thereafter. Look for it around town… and get in touch if you want more details.

:: Email democraticspaces [at]


New Community Plans in development for Marpole, Grandview-Woodland and the West End. Get involved!

Neighbourhood planning work is getting underway in Marpole, Grandview-Woodland and the West End. The City will be working with community members in each of the three areas to develop a long-range plan to manage growth and change. Community plans develop directions for a number of areas – including housing, land-use and transportation. Work will also engage the community on key aspects of public space – streetscapes, parks and public areas, public art and more.

This is a great opportunity for public space aficionados in these neighbourhoods, and the City is proposing a number of engagement opportunities along the way. The very first event – a storytelling evening hosted by local funny man Steve Burgess – takes place tomorrow night (Tuesday, May 1) in Marpole. The other two neighbourhoods have similar events taking place in just over a week. There’s also walking tours, open houses and bunches of other items in the hopper.

Check out the details on the various neighbourhood webpages and sign-up for the individual list-servs to stay involved! While you’re there be sure to register for the following events:


Saturday, May 5 – Sunday May 6 – Jane’s Walk

There are lots of ways that you can explore Vancouver’s great public spaces, but one of the best involves a leisurely stroll with a local expert. That’s what Jane’s Walk is all about.

Started in 2007 to honour the memory of Jane Jacobs, it’s now grown to a world-wide event. Vancouver alone has over 20 walks scheduled, spread throughout the city. Best of all, they’re free! Sign up and see your city in a whole new way.

:: Jane’s Walk – List of Vancouver Walking Tours

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