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

By VPSN

March 9, 2015 at 8:00 AM

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Where in the world is…

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a monthly compilation of public space around the world by Brittany Morris

ENGAGED CITIES

  • Seattle’s Chinatown International District is a historic area where you cannot only enjoy Dim Sum and marvel at early twentieth century brick buildings, but also empty your pockets-of-change at the Seattle Pinball Museum. The district also faces a resilience challenge of preserving the heritage character and cultural identity within Seattle’s urban fabric, while updating infrastructure and implementing new policies and housing standards to protect the buildings that may not stay standing when the next big ‘quake hits. The Seattle Chinatown International District Preservation and Development Authority (SCIDpda) carried out a community engagement mandate to work with residents and property owners in the historic area.
  • Smelling your way through the city – here are 5 tips for smellwalking. Go ahead, smell your city!

DESIGN

  • On making room for the invisible micro-urban spaces in ecological urban design, and how the benefits of the small-scale urban can help create more liveable cities.
  • Given the transit referendum on March 16th and ongoing scepticism of new major cycleways in Vancouver, here’s an interesting look into the economics behind the planning for increasing bicycle infrastructure in Christchurch, New Zealand.
  • Are ‘defensive architecture and design’ tactics in urban environments creating pervasive, unwelcoming public spaces that make the lives of city dwellers more hostile and ignorant? The article praises RainCity Housing’s shelter-bench initiative as a ‘ray of hope’ for creating more inclusive and equitable cities.

HERITAGE

PLACEMAKING

  • The Guardian asked their network of ‘city bloggers’ from around the world what they would change if they were ‘mayor for a day’ in their city. The answer? More inclusive public space.
  • Up, up and away! Submitted to the 2015 Folly Competition by Australian architect Jesse Lockhart-Krause, the playful Balloon Swing may send you soaring as you sit on a swing attached to a colourful hot-air balloon. Recommendations for best Balloon Swing location in Vancouver?
  • 7, 500 miles (or 12,070 km) of LA’s underused city streets will transition into active, vibrant and accessible public space with the recently launched program, People St., designed to support community projects that enhance the quality of life in the city.
  • A look into the public life of Cairo through 1001 street chairs.
  • Birmingham Policy Commission’s recommendations for enhancing quality of life in future cities, which includes ‘a call for processes that engage citizens and create systems and policies for local empowerment.’

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