Places for People graphic

Places for People Downtown

Through Places for People Downtown, we will create a strategy to shape and deliver vibrant public spaces downtown

What’s your vision for public space in downtown Vancouver?

Vancouver's public spaces - our plazas, squares, streets, laneways, pathways, and waterfront - are where public life happens. These spaces are where we connect with the city and with each other - it's where community is created.

Everyone in Vancouver has the right to easily accessible public spaces. A well-designed downtown should inspire and create pleasure for visitors and passersby, as well as for those who live, work, and play in the area every day.

Creating and improving spaces to bring our community together

As our city grows and transforms, we'll see more people and activity downtown. We need to look at how we can help create and improve public spaces to bring our community together and allow us to grow into a friendly and lively city.

We're working toward a plan to deliver exceptional, vibrant, and memorable public spaces, places, and experiences in the downtown peninsula.

Our new strategy will include places and spaces in: 

  • The Central Business District
  • Coal Harbour 
  • West End
  • Downtown South
  • Yaletown
  • False Creek North
  • Northeast False Creek

This is the first phase of a public space strategy for the broader city core area.

Future phases will include the Downtown Eastside neighbourhoods, including Gastown and Chinatown, False Creek Flats, and the communities south of False Creek.

What's happening

Volunteer for our Public Space and Public Life Study (winter edition)

We are conducting a Public Space and Public Life Study (PSPL) in partnership with Gehl to collect 'people data' to better understand how people use and spend time in Downtown Vancouver. 

This research will be used to inform a Downtown Public Space Strategy and help bring the strategy from vision to action.

Volunteer survey shifts: February 1 and February 3, 2018. Shifts will be four hours long between 8am and 8pm. Required training will take place on January 31 at UBC Robson Square (Room C300) from 7:00 to 9:00pm.

Get more details and register to volunteer

Follow our progress

  1. Summer 2017 Launch – Vision, values,
    and favourite places
  2. Fall 2017Public space and public life
    study, and policy testing
  3. Winter – Spring 2018 Strategic directions
  4. Summer – fall 2018 Draft strategy and
    report to Council

 

Our Projects

By City of Vancouver

What's your big (or little) idea for public space? In the summer of 2017, Places for People Downtown launched a summer engagement campaign and online survey to better understand the public's thoughts and attitudes toward public space in Downtown Vancouver.

  • Meet the Public Space Makers

    By City of Vancouver

    Who are Vancouver’s public space makers? How can we better program and enjoy our public spaces year round? As part of Lumiere Vancouver in December 2017, Places for People Downtown hosted a speaking event on public space in Jim Deva Plaza. Moderated by Jenniffer Sheel, City of Vancouver's Manager of Street Activities, this event brought together some of Vancouver’s top public space activators for a fun and creative discussion on the topic of public life in a rainy city.

  • Dinner and dialogue on Public Space

    By City of Vancouver

    In September 2017, Places for People Downtown invited architect Bruce Haden to facilitate a discussion with community leaders on the values and principles that should inform public space planning and plaza stewardship in Vancouver. ​Supported by the Vancouver Foundation and the Vancouver Art Gallery, the learning from this event will inform the Downtown Public Space Strategy to be released in 2018.

  • Public Space and Public Life Study

    By City of Vancouver

    Over 250 volunteers supported Places for People Downtown's Public Space and Public Life Study, the largest study of its kind in North America. A huge thank you to all those that contributed their time!

  • Public Space and Public Life Study

    By City of Vancouver

    The research collected during the Public Space and Public Life Study was a mix of behavioural mapping, pedestrian counts, and intercept surveys collected over two days in almost 40 locations over Downtown Vancouver. 

  • Public Space and Public Life Study

    By City of Vancouver

    The research gathered in the Public Space and Public Life Study will provide insight into what people like about public space, how they use it and why. Public life surveys will be conducted in September 2017 and again in early 2018 to capture seasonal variations in public life.

  • Public Space and Public Life Study

    By City of Vancouver

    In September 2017, the City of Vancouver's Places for People Downtown program conducted Vancouver's first Public Space and Public Life Study with the support of Gehl, a global leader in people-centred urban design.

  • On Public Life

    By City of Vancouver

    John Bela, Partner/Director with Gehl, spoke to over 200 volunteers at the Roundhouse Community Arts and Recreation Centre on the subject of public space and public life. The event was offered as training to volunteers for the Public Space and Public Life Study. 

  • Gehl People

    By City of Vancouver

    In August 2017, the City of Vancouver announced its intention to work with Gehl on Vancouver's first Public Space and Public Life Study. In advance of the study, Gehl's Sofie Kvist joined the Places for People Downtown team for an orientation of Downtown Vancouver.

  • Public Space Walking Tours

    By City of Vancouver

    In the summer of 2017, Places for People Downtown offered a series of public space walking tours throughout Downtown Vancouver's neighbourhoods. Hosted by the City of Vancouver's planning staff, the events were designed to familiarize and orient participants on Downtown Vancouver's existing stock of public spaces. 

  • Campaign launch in Robson Square

    By City of Vancouver

    On June 29, Places for People Downtown kicked off its summer engagement campaign in Robson Square. Designed to be friendly, colourful and welcoming, the engagement kit was designed with the help of local illustrator Jeff Kulak, with seating provided by FSOARK. 

  • Campaign launch in Robson Square

    By City of Vancouver

    In June 2017, Charles Gauthier (left), Executive Director of the Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association, joined Gil Kelley, Director of Planning with the City of Vancouver for the official campaign kick-off and media launch in Robson Square. 

Connect with #PlacesForPeopleVan

  

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