“There is clear public support and the site has strong potential as a permanent public square, however we need options around the transportation impacts identified, in tandem with developing design and programming options for the space,” said a representative presenting to Council on behalf of the City’s Viva Vancouver program.
Council voted in favour of reopening the 800 block in order to allow staff time to work on addressing these issues. In addition, city staff will co-lead an increamental approach for a permanent public square on 800 Robson and report back to Mayor and Council on an overarching strategy in preparation for the 2013 summer closure.
Vancouver Public Space Network’s Heather Forbes was at the meeting to present VPSN’s position and read our letter, stating our opposition to the reopening of Robson Street to traffic, as well as our support for staff’s continued work on addressing the issues raised by the public and reporting back to Council on impacts, challenges and opportunities for potentially creating a permanent public square on 800-block Robson Street.
VPSN has developed a report to share with City staff on successful public squares with an emphasis on those in rainy climates. We have also reiterated our commitment to support the City in developing innovative community fundraising strategies that will help realize this square, and of course, offered expertise in pulling off engaging, low cost, events and interventions in public space.
The good news is that a firm timeline has been identified, and that the VPSN has offered assistance to the City in resolving its outstanding issues.VPSN has worked tirelessly for years, advocating on behalf of Vancouver citizens who love public space and want a permanent public square in the heart of the city. We feel that we are getting closer to this goal and we will continue to engage the public on this issue in anticipation of the City’s reporting back to Council this summer.
Thank you for your continued support!