Vancouver Public Space Network - News & Events
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VPSN Weekend Update - Laneway BBQ, Plazas, Arbutus & More!

Hi everyone,

A quick update to let you know about some exciting public space activities taking place this weekend – and, looking further ahead, a few important opportunities to shape public space in the city.  

  • VPSN Laneway Livingroom #2 – transform a Gastown alleyway into a gathering place - Saturday
  • Public Space Research – help survey public life in Downtown Vancouver
  • Sign up to be an Arbutus Greenway Champion – 4-Day Design Jam
  • Robson + Bute – weigh in on the future of this “trial” plaza
  • VeloDisco – Bike Rave - Friday
  • Chinatown: Historic Urban Landscape - Saturday
  • McSpadden + Commercial – Pubic Disco + Pop-Up Plaza – Saturday + Sunday

The weather promises to be excellent over the next few days – so be sure to get out and enjoy Vancouver’s many public spaces and places!

VPSN Feature Project - #LanewayLivingroom 


Backyard BBQ – Saturday August 26, 12-9pm

Earlier this summer, we held our first #LanewayLivingroom event in East Vancouver. The one-day “Grandma’s House” event took an underutilized alleyway and transformed it into a lively gathering place. 

This Saturday, we’ll be hosting our second event in Gastown. Join us for a casual Backyard BBQ – in the diagonal alleyway connecting Cambie and Cordova Streets. This activation will use some creatively upcycled materials to turn an urban space into the suburban dream. Think grilled food, music, lawn games, music, and maybe even a rogue pink flamingo. 

As we’ve said before, laneways take up a significant amount of land in Vancouver, and yet only a handful of these spaces are welcoming for people. They represent a significant opportunity for creating engaging new gathering areas. Our tactical urbanism project is designed to highlight the potential of Vancouver’s unloved and underutilized laneways by quickly and cheaply transforming them into people-friendly public spaces.

:: More info - #LanewayLivingroom Webpage  

Recent #LanewayLivingroom Media


Lend Your Support - Public Space Engagement Opportunities


Volunteers needed – Help create a comprehensive public space strategy for downtown Vancouver

The City of Vancouver is looking for volunteers to help collect "people data" to better understand how residents and visitors get around and spend time in downtown Vancouver. The research will provide insight into what people like about public space, how they use it and why. Public life surveys will be conducted during September 2017 and again in January 2018 to capture seasonal variations in public life. Volunteers are invited to participate in both surveys.

Volunteers will work shifts on September 14 or September 16, 2017 and help gather behavioural mapping data and conduct surveys at various locations in downtown Vancouver. Training sessions will take place on September 13.  Most shifts will be four hours and take place between 8 am and 8 pm. Some shifts involve a shorter time commitment. Volunteers are welcome to participate in more than one shift. 

:: To volunteer, email by Friday, September 8, 2017. 


Apply to be an “Arbutus Champion” and help with a four-day ‘Design Jam’ 

Vancouver residents are invited to apply for one of 100 Arbutus Champion spots in the Arbutus Greenway ‘Design Jam’, a four-day collaborative workshop where participants will work together to develop a draft design for the future Arbutus Greenway.
The objective of the Design Jam is to get detailed public input into all aspects of the design of the greenway, with the ultimate goal of designing a vibrant public space for walking, cycling, public transportation e.g. streetcar, public art, community space, and more. This innovative engagement will take place over two weekends in October (Oct 20, 27, 28, 29). 
Participants will be randomly selected for the 100 available spots by location, age, and gender to ensure representation across the city.
:: For more information, or to sign up - Arbutus webpage, or phone 604-873-7470.


Robson + Bute – Temporary Plaza Survey 

Have you been by the temporary plaza that the City recently installed at Bute and Robson? It's a great addition to the West End neighbourhood – and our own VPSN research on the space a few weeks back detailed just how popular the space has become from morning to evening.

The City is considering making this a permanent public space and has put out an online survey to gauge public reaction. You should share your thoughts here and maybe we can get another cool neighbourhood plaza on this popular high Street. Take the 5-minute survey and help shape the future of the plaza! The survey closes on September 18, 2017.

:: Complete the Survey -


Cottonwood Park Garden – Crowdfunding 

When we were doing our recent Grandma’s House intervention, we were approached by a member of the Cottonwood community garden who shared a sad story. Earlier this summer, vandals burned the garden shed at this popular public space - destroying much of the gardening and bee-keeping equipment inside. 

Cottonwood Gardens is an Eastside Vancouver oasis in Strathcona, and the gardeners operate as a non-profit organization with a shoestring budget. To try and get the shed re-built and equiptment replaced, they’ve initiated a crowdfunding campaign. Perhaps you have a few extra dollars to spare? Why not help the gardeners out with the donation.
:: Donate - Cottonwood Crowdfunding Page




Vélo Disco | The Party4Health Bike Rave – Friday, August 25, 9pm-12am

Prepare for an upbeat exploration with music and flashing lights. Finish your summer in a spectacular bike disco with only the best beats, lights, trikes and bikes. Billed as the “rebirth of Bike Rave” – with a new route, new vibe + renewed excitement. The event starts at Second Beach.

:: More informationFacebook Event Page


McSpadden Street @ Commercial: Public Disco & Pop-Up Plaza  - Saturday + Sunday, August 26-27

Two more excellent interventions are taking place in the Commercial Drive area this weekend – at the intersection of Commercial and McSpadden. 

First up, the third installment of #PublicDisco, happening at McSpadden and Commercial Drive on Saturday August 26th (1-7pm). What’s Public Disco, you ask? An opportunity to reimagine auto-oriented spaces as people places with music and dancing. Enjoy local artists spinning feel good house and disco. Wear your brightest apparel and come out and shake down! 

Then, on Sunday, between 11am-7pm, McSpadden Avenue will be transformed into a “pop-up plaza” and outdoor living room for the day! There will be picnic tables, ping pong, Jenga, music, and more. Come play games, hang out with friends, have a picnic, or just watch the world go by!

:: More informationPublic Disco (Saturday); Pop-Up Plaza (Sunday)


Chinatown: Historic Urban Landscape – Saturday, August 26, 2-4pm

Join Heritage Vancouver to learn about Chinatown as a Historic Urban Landscape. Participants will examine some of the background of the planning in Chinatown including the Chinatown Vision, the need for a new perspective for Chinatown planning, what is a Historic Urban Landscape and how it relates to a new perspective. Additionally, we will learn about the BC Artscape Sun Wah project, Keefer Triangle, and other, more intangible elements of heritage in this important neighbourhood.

:: More information, or to register – Heritage Vancouver website


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