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

Life Between Umbrellas - Hand Drawn

Upcoming Event: Workshop – Draft Principles for Rain-friendly Public Spaces – Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Coming in Spring 2019, a design ideas competition to help Vancouver better cope with the rainy months.

Vancouver is a rainy city. Located in a coastal rain forest region, the city sees over 160 rainy days a year, a condition that results in approximately 1,150mm of precipitation annually – with much of it falling between October and March.

Rain conditions are expected to deepen. According to the City of Vancouver, residents can expect to see “more extreme rainfall events in winter [with] an increase of 33% very wet days and 63% extremely wet days.” In addition “‘1 in 20 year storm events’ are expected to increase by 36%.”

While the City has many excellent public spaces, most of these spaces are ill-equipped to support public activity in the rain. Public life in Vancouver is challenged by the weather. Utilization of parks and plazas drops, and otherwise vibrant streets and spaces lose opportunities for lingering and enjoyment. The umbrella overhead becomes a shield against the elements, and street life takes on an accelerated pace as people hurry to get out of the rain. Life between umbrellas means the action in our public space either shuts down or shifts inside.

Our public spaces – and the people of the city – deserve better than this.

Life Between Umbrellas: Public Space in a Rainy City

Starting in Spring 2019, the Vancouver Public Space Network (VPSN) will hold a “design ideas” competition that encourages ideas on ways to improve public space and public life during Vancouver’s rainy months.

Between now and then, the VPSN will be undertaking a number of activities to encourage discussion on how we – as Vancouverites – can do a better job of making the city rain friendly. Stay tuned for more details, and in the meantime be sure to follow us on social media for the latest updates, hot off the press.

Twitter: @LifeUmbrellas @vpsn
Instagram: @LifeBetweenUmbrellas
Hashtags: #LifeBetweenUmbrellas #raincity