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

Paola Qualizza (chair; local economy) started exploring the interplay of urban geography and local economics while at SFU, and has always been interested in the ‘playful edge’ where economic activity meets public space. Paola has been Chair of the VPSN since June 2014, and also leads the Network’s local economy portfolio. She sits on the City of Vancouver’s Civic Assets Naming Committee, and the Downtown Vancouver BIA’s Placemaking Committee. In addition to her work with the VPSN, she is Managing Director at Groundswell, a community-based social venture incubator that operates out of Granville Island.


 

Karen Quinn Fung (vice-chair; streets and transportation) has long been curious about issues at the intersection of technology, communities and society. At the VPSN, she’s been involved in public transit-related projects and advocacy, helping organize events like the annual SkyTrain party, PS (Public Space) I Love U, and representing the VPSN as a stakeholder in the City of Vancouver’s Transportation 2040 Advisory Committee. Karen has previously helped convene unconferences for public engagement on transit issues. She serves as a member of the executive committee for the American Planning Association Technology Division and continues to contribute to civic technology projects using open data that make the urban experience more inclusive, enjoyable and sustainable. She writes on her interests and life at countably infinite .


 

Stewart Burgess (secretary-treasurer; special projects) is a project leader who specializes in specific transformations of public spaces. He has been a part of the VPSN’s Park(ing) Day activities, the Skytrain Halloween Party, and various Robson Square activations such as the Polka Dot Piano (in collaboration with CityStudio’s Keys to the Street). He joined the VPSN Board of Directors in 2013.


 

Selina Bull (social-wellbeing, health and safety) has a keen interest in social planning and urban issues, and how these interact with and animate public space. She holds a Master’s degree in Regional and Urban Planning Studies from the London School of Economics and Political Science, where she occasionally snuck into Hyde Park at night, and researched and wrote about the right to the city, deconstructing the political, social sustainability, and health narratives about gentrification in Vancouver’s downtown east side. Selina also works as a strategic communications and public/stakeholder engagement professional for policy, planning and infrastructure projects.


 

Caitriona Feeney (special projects) has been volunteering with the organization since 2011. Since she started with the VPSN, she has been involved with the VPSN’s VIVA Vancouver projects, Robson Square activations, and policy research for our Downtown Public Realm Project. She is a former commissioner on the Vancouver City Plan Commission and a policy planner with the Institute for Sustainable Food Systems.


 

Stina Hanson is an artist and urban planner, currently based in Vancouver BC. She is the Executive Director of the Atrux Collective, an interdisciplinary arts organization that does everything from concerts to urban installations and will be collaborating with the August Market in September 2017 to bring Parking Day to Main Street. In addition to her extracurricular activities she works as an analyst for the District of West Vancouver on a range of community planning initiatives including the District’s ongoing Official Community Plan Review.


 

Sam Khany (special projects) is an urban planner and an urban designer, with passion for the interplay between social and physical systems in urban environments. He has experience working in Canada and internationally in public, private and non-profit sectors. He is an avid urban sketcher with a love for vibrant and integrative public spaces. In addition to his work with the VPSN, Sam is also a board member with the Urbanarium Society.


 

Michelle Pollard (volunteer coordinator) has been volunteering with the VPSN since 2014. With expertise in sustainable urban design, Michelle has been working to create engaging public spaces while integrating nature within the urban built environment. Michelle believes that public spaces provide the perfect opportunity to foster engagement, social connection and happiness within our city’s diverse population, while providing opportunities for community stewardship and pride. Michelle also sits on the City of Vancouver’s Development Permit Board Advisory Panel.


 

Mitchell Reardon (streets and transportation) is an urbanist at Metropolitan Collective, and also collaborates with Happy City, IBI Group and Nordregio. His interdisciplinary work centres on people and how they live, work and move through the city. Mitchell is happy to be back in Vancouver, after 6 great years in Stockholm, Sweden. Catch up with him on Twitter: @MitchellReardon


 

Beverley White (civic buildings; stewardship project) is an urban planner with a background in spatial design and civic engagement. She uses narrative techniques to draw out stories important to people and place, feeding this into the planning and design process. Since joining VPSN she has been coordinating the Plaza Stewardship study and is co-leading the Civic Buildings portfolio. Through drawing, writing and collaborative events, she enjoys capturing and commenting on the details of everyday life in public space.

Interested in joining the VPSN Board of Directors? Drop us an email and let’s chat! info [at] vancouverpublicspace.ca