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


July 26, 2018 at 8:31 PM

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Lend a hand with public space – Volunteer Update

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Grandma's House!

Grandma's House!

Have a little time to spare? Check out our Volunteer Update to find out about upcoming place-making, research and communications-related initiatives. Help make some magic happen in Vancouver’s public spaces and join us for a bit of public space fun with one of the activities below.

Added bonus: two other local projects that you may be interested in!

Volunteer Orientation – Wednesday, August 1 @ 6pm

New to the VPSN? Our next general volunteer orientation will take place downtown Vancouver. These sessions allow new volunteers to learn about the VPSN’s work over the past decade, our organizational structure, and our current and upcoming volunteer opportunities. Weather-permitting we’ll meet outside in centrally located public space.

:: For more information, or to RSVP –

Communications meeting – Wednesday, August 1 @ 7pm

Interested in helping out with writing and communications projects? We use our monthly communications meeting to discuss story ideas and other related items.

We are looking for help with the following:

  • Writing articles for our blog
  • Photography
  • Social media support

This session follows the Volunteer Orientation. Weather-permitting, we’ll meet outside. Details TBD.

:: For more information, or to RSVP –

Annual General Meeting – Wednesday, August 29 @ 6pm

Our AGM will take place on the last Wednesday of August at 6:00pm. As a registered non-profit, we use this meeting to review our previous year’s work, discuss the plan for 2018-19, and elect our Board of Directors. We also like to use is as an excuse for a old-fashioned picnic in the park… and we’ll be holding court in one of the city’s greenspaces (or beaches) with some picnic goodies.

Interested in joining the Board? Our Directors are responsible for governance issues related to the Network – shaping organizational positions, and helping to manage projects of varying sorts.

We are also looking for additional support and proven expertise in some key areas. Board membership isn’t a requirement to take a leadership role with these; however many of our portfolio leads are also board members.

  • Open space (park and plaza) design
  • Streets as places
  • Pedestrian issues
  • Civic buildings

For more information on the Board of Directors, please email Paola Qualizza, Chair, at

Upcoming Initiatives – Dates TBD

We are just sorting out dates for a few other events. If you’re interested, let us know and we’ll keep in touch.

Piazza Mobilé – Placemaking with a Mobile Plaza

You’ve all visited them in Vancouver: plaza spaces that lack public life. Maybe you’d like to help change that? Our latest summertime venture is called Piazza Mobilé (pronounced mo-be-lay). The idea is simple: we take our portable collection of plaza-activating goodies – chairs and tables, lots of games, lights, music, kid-friendly stuff – add it to these spaces and invite neighbours to come join in the public space party.

We’re pleased to report that we have received a small grant from Viva Vancouver to help make this happen – and we are currently looking to sort out dates, spaces and our volunteer assignments. We expect to get underway in August and September.

:: Help activate a public space – contact

Supporting Pedestrians – Seat-Mapping – Field Research

We’ve been working over the summer to map the state of public seating in the city – primarily focussing on commercial areas. Our goal is to get a clear picture of this most critical piece of public space and pedestrian infrastructure – its distribution, areas that are well-served, and key gaps.

We are now quite close to having finished, but still have about a dozen and a half sites left to do. Can you lend a hand? The work involves a site visit, some documentation, and some photography. Each site takes about an hour (on average), and you can do the work on your own time. We’ll be meeting up at Whole Foods café (W8th Ave, just north of Cambie).

:: For more information – contact Shona –

Seat-Mapping – Data Entry

Our seat-mapping efforts also require some good old-fashioned data entry work. If you feel so inclined, have a lap-top, and are wise in the ways of data transcription (i.e. using a spreadsheet), we would love your company for this. The plan is find a quietish pub, or another such spot where we can pedal through this work (with perhaps a beverage to make things easier). Location TBD.

:: For more information – contact Hanna –

Life Between Umbrellas: Public Space in a Rainy City

Earlier this year, we were out with our giant umbrella wall gathering ideas on how to make Vancouver’s public spaces more rain-friendly. We also produced a series of draft Principles for Rain-friendly Public Spaces. These are just two aspects of a larger project we call Life Between Umbrellas. Later this year, we will be gearing up for more fun with a rain-friendly spaces design competition – and there will exciting news on this front coming shortly. We will be needing help with this project starting in September – so stay tuned for that.

:: More information –

Other Opportunities

Rain-Paint Designs – share your ideas for wet-weather street art

On the theme of rain, the City is looking for designs for a new wet-weather art installation that will take place in three public spaces. This contest “invites ideas that will brighten up our city and add a bit more fun to our public spaces every time it rains.” You can find out more on the City’s website. Deadline: August 17, 2018

:: For more information, or to share your idea – Rain Paint Idea Webpage

Mount Pleasant Neighbourhood House Parklet

A brand new parklet was installed on Prince Albert Street in front of Mt. Pleasant Neighbourhood House (MPNH). This is the first one developed in the City with a non-profit partner, and it’s a great addition to an already excellent public space. The goal of the project is to “enhance the neighbourhood and create a place to build community connections across generations and diverse interests.”

As part of this, the parklet team at the Neighbourhood House have organized a crowd-funding campaign. If you happen to have a few extra bucks and want to offer your support to this worthwhile project, check out their WayBlaze page below.

:: Crowdfunding Page
:: More information – Mount Pleasant Neighbourhood House Parklet

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