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

By VPSN

March 29, 2021 at 9:09 PM

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It’s Open! The 800-block Robson Square Returns

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WhatsApp Image 2021-03-29 at 2.25.25 PM

After being closed-off for over a year-and-a-half, the renewed 800-block Robson Square is once again open to the public. It didn’t take long to fill-up. Construction fencing came down mid-afternoon, and within a few minutes the renewed space was already seeing some good use by people out for a walk, or looking for a nice spot in the sun.

The City’s media release makes lots of funding and stakeholder partnerships – and these were critical in moving the project forward — but perhaps the biggest kudos need to go to the many members of the public who voiced support – signed a petition, wrote a letter, spoke to Council – over the years. Community advocacy made this happen!

The actual idea for a civic square in this location dates to the mid-20th century, and it had been formalized in Arthur Erickson’s vision for the Law Courts/Art Gallery in the 1970s. Most recently though, the push for the transformation of this space goes dates to just before the Olympics – and included a strong push through our own Where’s the Square design competition (2008-09), 800-block petitions, programming activities, and a number of other engagement and advocacy initiatives over the years – including several visits to City Council.

Today, seeing the construction hoarding removed and the first few folks make use of the space, we couldn’t be happier. This vital space truly is one of the great centerpieces of public life in Vancouver.

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