Posted by: VPSN | February 1, 2013

Public Space News & Events – February 2013

Sticker Art - P1040451

  • UP FRONT: A New Year: with new public space activations on the horizon
  • ENGAGE: Public space opportunities on Granville, in Grandview-Woodland, and Kitsilano/Pt. Grey (and upcoming items on the Art Gallery, downtown public spaces and the viaducts)
  • EVENTS: February events and activities
  • RESEARCH: A round-up of recent studies concerning public space

UPFRONT: A New Year: with new public space activities on the horizon

2013 is now just over one-month old, and already it’s off to a roaring start.  February is flush with exciting public space-related events – with something to tantalize everyone’s palate.  You’ll find lots of interesting things in this month’s Public Space News & Events.

On the home front, the VPSN team held a project planning workshop for the upcoming year.  We’ll be rolling out a calendar of events and activities to help enliven the city in the very near future.  Among the items on our roster: more work on Robson Square, a new film fest, a city-wide public space game, and potentially, a brand new and extremely soggy design competition. We’ll be refining our full calendar of activities in the next week… and you can expect a report-out shortly thereafter.  As always, we’ll be looking for the help, interest and support of public space aficionados in the city to make it all happen.

On that note, a few quick updates.  We’ll be having our next volunteer orientation on Wednesday, February 6.  If you’re interested in learning more about the Network, please join us!  Details can be had at volunteer [at]

And… it’s a little ways a way yet, but the VPSN will be heading to Richmond on March 28 as part of the 2013 Lulu Speaker Series.  This year’s theme is Art in the City and part of our presentation will focus on sharing some examples of the best new public space activations, animations, art and design projects from around the world.  Do you have any examples you think should be part of the conversation?  We’re firm believers in crowd-sourcing case-studies… so if you’ve got something to share (photos, leads, ideas) please send ‘em our way: publicity [at]


Saturday, February 2 – Grandview-Woodland Parks & Public Space Dialogue / Workshop

Grandview-Woodland is one of four neighbourhoods undergoing a community planning process.  As part of the work under way in this part of town, there’s an upcoming Planning through Dialogue event on Parks & Public Space.

The workshop will look at a variety of items, including greenspaces, plazas, streets & greenways, community facilities and public realm features.  The event is free, but you need to register to attend. Starts at 12:30.

:: To register – Visit the Grandview-Woodland Community Plan Webpage  

Saturday, February 2 – Point Grey-Cornwall Corridor Open Houses

The Point Grey Road–Cornwall Avenue Active Transportation Corridor Project aims to create a safe, convenient and comfortable connection for pedestrians and cyclists between Burrard Bridge and Jericho Beach.  City staff will be available at all the open houses to discuss the project, answer questions and gather input.  Event takes place 10:00am-2:00pm, Kitsilano Community Centre, 2690 Larch Street, Snowy’s Lounge.

:: More info – City of Vancouver webpage

Help transform Granville Street for 2013 – Deadline February 4

If you are a Vancouver-based not-for-profit, community, or corporate group, the City wants to hear from you! VIVA Vancouver is accepting proposals for public space activations on Granville Street (downtown) for summer 2013. The deadline is Monday 4 February 2013. Read the news release for more guidelines, application form, and more.

:: More information –

Other items on the horizon – Art Gallery, downtown public spaces, viaducts

No dates appear to have been set at this point, but a number of important public space-related discussions are due back at City Council in the near future.  These include a discussion of the Vancouver Art Gallery’s business plan (related to their proposed move to a new site), a discussion on downtown public spaces (coming out of the City’s recently adopted Transportation 2040 Plan), and an update on the discussion around the Georgia and Dunsmuir viaducts.  Stay tuned for details.


February 1 – Intersections

Hollywood & Vine. Haight & Ashbury. Portage & Main. Davie & Denman. Great cities are composed of great intersections. Recognizable outside of their city limits, these intersections play host to significant historical events, define the culture of a place, and are the meeting point for diverse groups of people. Launching February 2013 at the Platform Gallery, Intersections celebrates the unique attributes of seven essential cross-streets throughout Vancouver through graphic design.  As of February 1, Intersections will be on exhibition at the Canada Line’s Platform Gallery, located underground at Waterfront Station.

:: Facebook Page –

February 2 – Car-Free Day – Launch Celebration

Volunteers, participants, supporters, friends and family all welcome as the Car-Free crew work towards another year of bringing streets to life with community awesomeness and car-free fun. “We are always looking for new blood and ideas and planning is underway to celebrate the 9th annual Car Free Vancouver Day on June 16, 2013.”

Event takes place 8pm ‘til late at the Beaumont Studios, 316 West 5th Ave (5th and Alberta). Sorry, no minors.

:: More info – Facebook Event Page

Saturday, February 2Crow Roost Twilight Bike Ride

So many crows, where do they go?  There are more than twenty thousand crows that arrive at the roost from all over the Lower Mainland! Follow the crows eastward on their daily migration to their roost beside Still Creek.  Bring a snack to share if you feel like it, and maybe something warm to drink. Also remember your bike lights and warm clothes. Meet at 4:00pm, Lakewood Drive and Central Greenway.  Rain date: February 9.

:: More info –

Sunday, February 3 – Stanley Park Ecology Society’s 25th Birthday

Join the SPES at the Stanley Park Nature House as they celebrate 25 years of environmental education, conservation and stewardship programs. Join in on free family fun activities and learn about StanleyPark wildlife from local experts and dedicated volunteers. 11am -3pm

:: More information –

Tuesday, February 5 – Arthur Erickson Lecture Yung Ho Chang (Atelier FCJZ, China)

Yung Ho Chang will speak about five projects that FCJZ is currently pursuing: the Ism Project, the Mat Project, the Urb Project, the Other Project, and the Media Project. In addition, he will also discuss FCJZ’s recent exhibition Material-ism at UCCA in Beijing. Takes place 6:30-8:30pm at SFU Goldcorp Centre for the Arts, 149 West Hastings Street.

Wednesday, February 6 – Places that Matter – China Creek Cycle Track

Join Vancouver Heritage Foundation for Places That Matter plaque presentation #49. Meet cycling veterans and hear first hand accounts of racing on the track. The China Creek cycle track was built the 1954 British Empire & Commonwealth Games. Around 1900, Chinese farmers had worked the land along the creek south of Broadway; the track stood on fill atop the creek’s ravine, used as a city garbage dump until 1946. By the 1960s the track deteriorated, but it was rebuilt in 1973 and used until 1980, when Vancouver Community College transferred its campus from 12th and Oak. Track cycling moved to the Burnaby Velodrome in 1997.

Event takes place 10:00am, China Creek Cycle Track, at VCC Broadway Campus. Meet in the 1st floor atrium off Glen and E. 7th Ave.

:: More info – Jessica Quan –

Thursday, February 7 – Board of Change – Greenest City 2020 “State of the Union”

It’s been a year and a half since the Greenest City Action Plan was approved by City Council. In that time 125 projects have been underway across the City transforming the place where we live, work, and play. Come and hear some highlights of what’s been accomplished so far, areas that need more work, and plans for the future. Take this opportunity to give your feedback on priorities you’d like to see, initiatives that you appreciate, and areas of improvement.  Doors open at 5:00pm, Panel & Discussion: 5:30-6:30 pm; Networking: 6:30-7:00pm. Event is free for Board of Change members; $10 for non-members.

:: To register – Board of Change website


Thursday, February 7 – Retrofitting Suburbia Revisited

How can ghostboxes, dead malls, aging office parks, out-dated edge cities and blighted commercial strips be retrofitted into more sustainable places? Co-author of the award winning book, “Retrofitting Suburbia: Urban Design Solutions for Redesigning Suburbs”, Ellen Dunham-Jones will explain the drivers behind successful built suburban retrofits in North America and illustrate the three principal strategies: re-inhabitation, redevelopment and re-greening.  Event takes place 7pm, SFU Surrey, Room 2600. Admission is free but registration is required.

:: To register: SFU event webpage


Thursday, February 7 – Vancouver: Our Diverse Heritage

The first Approaching the Past event in Vancouver features free public talks by Donald Luxton, conservation consultant, educator, and author, and Vanessa Campbell, educator, Squamish Nation Language Program. Takes place 6:00 to 8:00pm at the Museum of Vancouver, 1100 Chestnut Street.

:: RSVP to or (604) 822-6915.

Friday, February 8 (tentative) – Idle No More Flashmob

Tentative date for the next Idle No More flashmob. Scheduled for 5:30pm.

:: Details – Facebook Event Page

Tuesday, February 12 – Matt Hern: In Defence of an Urban Future

An ecological future has to be an urban future, but that vision rests on remaking our cities as something other than crass investment mechanisms populated by greed and shoppers. We have to reimagine cities as something better: compact, accretive, self-determining places full of commonality, and vibrancy. This rendition of density requires a politics that commits to participatory difference, equity, hospitality and friendship. Event takes place 7:00-9:00pm, 149 West Hastings – Djavad Mowafaghian World Art Centre – GoldcorpCenter for the Arts.

:: Registration Details – Facebook Page

Wednesday, February 13 – Bernadette Blanchon – Generating Urban Landscapes in France: A Historical Perspective Since 1945

UBC SALA lecture by Architect Bernadette Blanchon on landscape architecture during the post-war period in France. Event takes place 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Orpheum Annex, 823 Seymour Street near Robson

Wednesday, February 13 Sex Talk in the City – Opening Reception

Be among the first to discover an innovative exhibition that explores the history of sexuality in Vancouver – from education to pleasure to politics. Explore sexuality not as science, but as part of our exciting, fascinating, thought-provoking culture.  Doors open at 6:30, event starts at 7:00.  Dress in red!  Takes place at the Museum of Vancouver, 1100 Chestnut Street.

:: Tickets & Info – MOV Website

Thursday, February 14 – 22nd Annual Feb 14th Women’s Memorial March

March starts at noon from Carnegie (Main and Hastings) and proceeds through the Downtown Eastside, with stops to commemorate where women were last seen or found; speeches by community activists at the court house; a healing circle at OppenheimerPark around 2:30 pm; and finally a community feast at the Japanese Language Hall. Please NOTE that this year the march starts one hour earlier, at 12:00 noon.

:: More information –

Sunday, February 17 – Uberdrop/Community Arts Chinese New Year

Ring in the Chinese New Year and mark the year of the water snake. Giant blue drops. Giant snake… combining forces to sending a clear message about communitywaterart and unity – all at the same time.

:: More information – Community Arts Vancouver;; The original Überdrop event page:; Chinese New Year parade:; The Blue Drop Movement:

Thursday, February 21 – Mark Kingwell – Is Public Space a Public Good?

Public space is routinely seen as the cure to every imaginable urban ill, from air quality to obesity. But how much of what we call public space is really public? Mark Kingwell will consider this problem, together with its implications for the notion of urban play and the so-called ‘right to the city.’ He will conclude with some reflections on the relationship between the city and the university. Event takes place 7 pm, Goldcorp Centre for the Arts (at Woodward’s), 149 W. Hastings St. Admission is free, but reservations are required.

:: To register: SFU event webpage

Monday, February 25 – SALA Lecture with Peter Cardew

Lecture by RAIC Gold Medalist winner Peter Cardew, Peter Cardew Architects, Vancouver. Lecture free and open to the public. Event takes place 6:30-8:30pm at UBC Robson Square.

:: Details – UBC SALA Webpage


A round-up of recent items and factoids from around the world:

Protected bikeways improve local businesses… “NYC DOT found that protected bikeways had a significant positive impact on local business strength. After the construction of a protected bicycle lane on 9th Avenue, local businesses saw a 49% increase in retail sales. In comparison, local businesses throughout Manhattan only saw a 3% increase in retail sales.” | More… 

Walk Score Ranks Canada’s Most Walkable Cities… and “Vancouver, with a Walk Score of 78, topped Canada’s most walkable cities …” | More…

Less cars equals more money for the local economy… “If a city can reduce car ownership by 15,000 cars… $127,275,000 could stay in the local economy… “ | More…

Proximity Trumps Mobility: Smart Growth Maximizes Accessibility… [I]ncreased proximity provided by more compact and centralized development is about ten times more influential than vehicle traffic speed on the number of destinations that people can reach within a given travel time. | More…


The Vancouver Public Space Network is an all-volunteer, community-driven enterprise that works on advocacy, education and outreach pertaining to the city’s public realm. We depend on member contributions in order to undertake our projects and activities. Looking to lend a hand? Please consider making a donation or signing up for one of our volunteer projects. Find out how you can help: info [at]


Vancouver Public Space Network
Box 2754 Station Terminal
349 West Georgia Street
Vancouver, BC, V6B 3X2

General info: info [at]

Newsletter & Event Submissions: newsletter [at]

Facebook: VPSN Facebook Group and VPSN Facebook Page

Flickr: VPSN group and photostream

Twitter: @vpsn



  1. Hi
    I am interested in the information/orientation next meeting. Best zachery

  2. Hi Zackery! Our next orientation is this Wednesday, March 5th at 6pm in Sakura Room at the Woodwards Building on E. Hastings. You can contact volunteer [at] vancouverpublic space ca for more info. Cheers!

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