Advocacy, education and outreach in support of Vancouver's public spaces

By vancouverpublicspace

November 22, 2012 at 2:48 PM

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City releases report on 800-block of Robson (Robson Square)

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800-block Robson (Robson Square) - P1020993

The City’s report on the 800-block of Robson is now on-line – and will be discussed in front of Council next Wednesday, November 28. This follows up on a recent consultation on the future of “Block 51” (both the 800-block of Robson and the north plaza of the art gallery.

The report notes that one of the key findings from the recent survey was that “64% of respondents had a preference for 800-block Robson to function as a permanent public space, while 17% preferred a summertime public space and 19% preferred only occasional closures of the street to traffic for special events.” The report concludes that “it is clear that the public’s desire to have a permanent, year-round public square on 800-block Robson is very strong.”

From this, the report makes two key recommendations:

  • That the 800-block of Robson Street be re-opened to cars and buses (our emphasis) on December 1, 2012, and that preparations be made for a summer closure aligned with Translink’s regular schedule changes.
  • That City staff continue to work on addressing the issues raised by the public and report back to Council on impacts, challenges and opportunities for potentially creating a permanent public square on 800-block Robson Street.

You can read the report here, to understand the City’s rationale for these recommendations. The VPSN will be reviewing the document over the next few days in order to develop a formal response.

Based on our initial assessment of the document, we feel that the second recommendation makes sense (there are outstanding issues that need to be resolved), but the first does not (another opening, another closing and then nothing assured – versus a consistent closure that people can get used to).

As always, please feel free to send your thoughts our way: robsonsquare [at] vancouverpublicspace [dot] ca.

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