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 studying 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 2014, and also leads the Network’s local economy portfolio. In addition to her work with the VPSN, she is a co-founder at Groundswell Alternative Business School.


 

Stewart Burgess (vice-chair; democratic spaces)  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 (secretary-treasurer; 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.


Lex Dominiak (social-wellbeing, health and safety) works in urban planning and has a background in community development and facilitation, recreation and cultural programming, and event coordination. His experience includes the development of community driven public art and mapping projects intended to bridge cultural gaps and develop dialogue on civic issues. He has strong interest in public space as a venue for expression, community connectedness, and wellness.



Arlene Gillman is the Principal of Intersect Design and Consulting. She received her MLA from North Carolina State University in 2018. Her initial involvement with the VPSN included work on the Civic Buildings and Health & Wellness portfolios. Arlene firmly believes that public space and public life play an essential role in democratic societies and lists among her influences, William Whyte, Jane Jacobs and Kevin Lynch. Other significant affiliations include the British Columbia Society of Landscape Architects where she serves on the Intern and Associate sub-committee. She is thrilled to be living in the beautiful city of Vancouver, and can be found exploring its nooks and crannies whenever she has the time.


 

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.


 


Sam Reeve  is a queer artist, writer and all-around troublemaker. She’s passionate about the reclamation of public space and dismantling car-culture. She’s the Executive Director of the Car Free Vancouver Society, where she organizes the Car Free Day festivals and parklets, and advocates for accessible transit and pedestrian infrastructure. She’s the Music Curator of the Vancouver Wooden Boat Festival and a grant writer for a variety of BC-based arts and culture organizations. Sam also serves as President of the Vancouver Mycological Society. Say hello if you see her poking around in the woods or at an event!


 


Pascale Rozada - (parks + open space, stewardship) is particularly interested in public space activations that build community and makes people from all backgrounds feel more connected. She was trained in landscape architecture with a background in literary studies and philosophy. Having both worked in the private and public sector as a designer and project manager, Pascale sits now on the board of a few non-profit organizations to give back to the community she lives in: False Creek South Neighbourhood Association and False Creek Community Centre Association. Aside from urban public spaces, Pascale has a deep appreciation for the wilderness and likes to spend time in the mountains, the west coast forest or the beach to breath some fresh air and feel replenished.


 

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.


Lauren Wright – has been interested in design, ever since she learned how to sponge paint from Debbie Travis’s Painted House. She’s also always had a curiosity for understanding how things work, and holds a bachelor’s degree in biology from UBC, and a diploma in Applied Planning from Langara College (where she focused on streetscape design). Current areas of interest include the connection between natural environments, health and well-being, as well as the role public spaces play in facilitating human connection. In her spare time Lauren sings with local choir ensembles, enjoys bouldering, and loves bridging gaps between disciplines.

 

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

 


Other Team Members

Andrew Pask (executive director) founded in the VPSN in 2006. Trained as both an anthropologist and city planner, in Holland and Canada, Andrew has worked with municipalities and non-profit organizations across the country. A member of the Placemaking Leadership Council, Placemaking Canada, Andrew has served on advisory boards for the UBC School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, and the Toronto Public Space Initiative. He presents widely on public space issues and has been a regular lecturer at SFU and UBC. Andrew has been featured in the Globe and Mail for his innovative work on public space planning and advocacy. Since 2005 he has also worked as a social planner and neighbourhood planner for the City of Vancouver.