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


Robson Square – Robson Square was originally designed to be a public gathering space in the City of Vancouver. According to Bing Thom, one of the members of the original Arthur Erikson design team, the only reason a street was included was because at the time, the main telephone truck line to the North Shore travelled through the area and could not be moved. Throughout it’s history, Robson Square has served as the heart of the City, despite its’ use as a secondary artery for public transit between the West End and the rest of Downtown. Since 2010, Robson Square has been activated as a pedestrian only space as part of the City of Vancouver’s Viva Vancouver program with summer closures and the prospect of continuous closures pending the completion and implementation of the Translink downtown bus service review. The VPSN is currently participating in the Robson Square review, the Translink Downtown Bus Service Review and has previously put forward proposals for the programming of the space. There are many other players involved in Robson Square, including the City of Vancouver, the Province of British Columbia, the University of British Columbia, Viva Vancouver, Translink, West End Transit Dependent Residents, the Vancouver Art Gallery, and food truck operators.

Tables & Chairs at Robson Square #2

Northeast False Creek Joint Working Group -The Vancouver Public Space Network sits on the City of Vancouver’s Northeast False Creek Joint Working Group. The working group provides input on public and private development decision within the area, a large tract of land between Science World and the Plaza of Nations which will be home to over 7000 people when completed. In its capacity on this board, the VPSN advocates for an inclusive and distinctive public realm that meets the needs of all residents of Vancouver and highlights the importance of this area in the larger urban fabric of Vancouver. The VPSN also act to ensure that active transportation and pedestrian uses are encouraged. Issues that the Northeast False Creek Joint Working Group are currently responding to include the removal of the city’s viaducts, development of the remaining Concord Pacific lands, the redevelopment and densification of Rogers Arena and BC Place, the future of the former Plaza of Nations site and the eventual construction of a large park along False Creek.



Where’s The Square? – Starting in 2008, the Vancouver Public Space Network held a design ideas competition for Robson Square, Vancouver’s central downtown plaza. Over 100 design teams signed up for the competition and a total of 54 entries were submitted, each competing for one of two awards: the Jury Selection, and the People’s Choice. While the jury deliberated over their selection, the public was invited to cast a ballot for their favourite design at a number of public events, as well as via an on-line voting system. View the Winning Designs here.


Central Broadway Corridor – Broadway is Vancouver’s great east-west axis. But what would it take to transform it into a Great Street — one that was more about being a place than a conduit? Both the City of Vancouver and Translink engaged in a planning exercises that would shape the future of Broadway. As part of this investigation, the VPSN two facilitated workshops in the summer of 2010 focused around a simple question: what would it take to turn Broadway into a Great Street?