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


February 13, 2019 at 10:03 PM

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Success! Council votes to fund permanent plaza at 800-Robson

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Fantastic news! Earlier this afternoon, by a vote of 8-3, City Council approved funding for the 800-block Robson Square plaza. Vancouver’s preeminent public square is getting a permanent make-over, with the approved investment enabling the transformation of a draft design into a gathering area that can properly support a wide range of social, cultural and democratic activities. How’s that for some pre-Valentine’s public space love!

A great big thank you to the Councillors who supported the motion, to the City staff that helped to develop the proposals, and to the many community members (and friends of the VPSN) who lent their voice in advocating for this important public space.

Thank you, also, to the many previous Councillors who have supported the initiative in one form or another. This truly is a project that has spanned several different administrations. 

The 800-block Robson earlier today.

The 800-block Robson earlier today.

The original idea for a civic square in this space goes back to the early and mid-20th century. It was most notably formalized in the 1970s by the work of Arthur Erickson and Cornelia Hahn Oberlander when they redesigned the Law Courts and Vancouver Art Gallery. Most recently, the real proof of concept came with the 2010 Olympics and a series of temporary activations and summertime initiatives.

For our part, we’ve been advocating for the expansion and enhancement of Robson Square since we first started our work as an organization over 12 years ago. We couldn’t be happier to see today’s commitment to fund the transformation of the temporary plaza into a beautiful permanent gathering area.

Robson Square (and the 800-block) is the public space heart of the city, widely used and loved by people of all backgrounds, circumstances, and walks of life. Today’s decision is a big city-building move, the benefits of which will be felt for years to come.


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