Information about VPSN activities, events, efforts and happenings — and some other items of interest from around the Web, too.
The VPSN website at is currently being redesigned. Material on the current website - the one you're visiting right now - is not being updated on a regular basis.
This site contains legacy material, current to Fall 2011.
For up-to-date information on the VPSN, please visit our blog - at vancouverpublicspace.wordpress.com. Stay-tuned for the launch of our brand-new webpage in the summer of 2012.
UPDATE: For those of you interested in our Robson Square petitions, please check out our newly created on-line versions. The "yes" petition started late yesterday, the "no" petition today. Here's your chance to participate in the discussion:
If you haven't already done so, please consider taking two minutes to have your voice heard on this initiative. The street is scheduled to be opened to vehicles on September 5 - at which point many of the great activities now taking place on the street will be removed. The VPSN supports the permanent closure of the space, but want to make sure that all sides are represented.
A quick thank you to everyone who stopped by yesterday's community market at the 800-block of Robson Street. Despite murmurings to the contrary, the weather turned out to be awesome -- a perfect backdrop for the 30+ local vendors and dj who set up shop, and the many many visitors that took in the fun.
This was the first of our VPSN experiments with the space -- all designed to see how the 800-block could function were the street to be remain closed to vehicular traffic. On that note, we're pleased to report that the 800-block worked extraordinarily well as a market area. The surrounding architecture - the neoclassical finesse of the Art Gallery and the modernist trappings of Arthur Erickson's Law Courts -- created an all-important human-scale. This, in turn, allowed the market to enhance the 'feel' of the space, rather than appearing at odds with it. Add to that the high volume of pedestrian traffic (the 800-block is one of the city's busiest pedestrian thoroughfares) and the fit worked quite well. As one visitor from Italy noted: "it's lively, like one of our piazzas." Fantastico!
As part of Viva Vancouver, VPSN is hosting a few evenings of laser graffiti! Want to know more? Come on out and try your hand at tagging up building walls with digital paint and lasers. Check out the location map to see where we'll be projecting next: Laser Locations...
Kensington Park is a gem among the city’s parks and gardens. Located at Knight and 33rd, it affords visitors one of the nicest panoramic views to be had – a vast sweep that allows the eye to take in quiet residential neighbourhoods, the modern architecture of downtown, and the North Shore mountains… all in one go.
In addition to being a multi-faceted network of invincible public space champions, the VPSN is also a registered non-profit. Our Annual General Meeting takes place this Wednesday. All are welcome!
We'll be using the opportunity to review the past year's activities, discuss the Network's upcoming Strategic Plan, and take stock of the vast finacial resources at our beck and call. An election of board members will take place and, weather permitting, we'll be barbequing hot dogs, playing games and eventually sampling local barley and hops based concoctions.
The formal AGM takes place at 6:00pm in Alexandra Park (the 'gazebo' park on Beach Avenue - a stone's throw from Davie and Denman). Agenda and meeting materials are available in advance by writing erin [at] vancouverpublicspace.ca
Rain location - if the weather is rainy (and not just grey) we'll be meeting at the Bayside Lounge (upstairs at Davie and Denman). If you're lost on the day-of, please feel free to call for directions - 778-239-7544.
- April 7, 2011 - VPSN Newsletter - Discussion of "Structures" debate at City Council (blog)
- April 12, 2011 - VPSN Letter to Mayor Robertson & City Council on proposed "Structures" bylaw amendments (blog) (pdf)
MEDIA RELEASE: Wednesday, April 6, 2011
VANCOUVER - The Vancouver Public Space Network (VPSN) and BC Civil Liberties Association (BCCLA) are jointly calling on the City of Vancouver to reject proposed changes to the City’s Street and Traffic Bylaw.
The amendments, outlined in a staff report on “Public Expression” would serve to constrain political activity in the City by requiring upwards of $1,200 in upfront fees and permitting costs for any political or non-commercial activity that utilizes a “structure, object, substance or thing” in the course of message making.
The proposed changes will be bundled into the existing Street and Traffic bylaw. They are the result of a court case in which the City lost in its attempt to limit Falun Gong protests in front of the Chinese consulate.
The proposed amendments do not expressly ban structures and other “things,” but makes it highly impractical for certain kinds of demonstrations to go forward because of limitations that include
- A refundable security of $1,000 for removal of the structure;
- A maximum of four demonstration permits per year;
- Payment of $200 application fee to cover costs of application review ($50 fee for permit renewal of same structure and location);
- A guarantee that there will be no structures on city streets between 8pm and 8am.
After years of discussions between City planners, property owners, and members of the community, development in Northeast False Creek (NEFC) has taken its first major step toward construction after several evenings of public hearings over the last two weeks. The decisions regarding these applications and the details within will set the tone for future applications. A brief description of the first rezoning applications is:
- 777 Pacific Boulevard (for the casino/entertainment complex and stadium improvements);
- 10 Terry Fox Way (eastern side of the Cambie Bridge off-ramp, known as Concord area 5b East) and;
- 10 Terry Fox Way (its western counterpart, 5b West)
The VPSN encourages anyone interested in learning more about the details of these applications to visit the City’s website and read the reports for each property. People also have the option of attending the next public hearing March 7th so they can share their concerns in person. Links to the Staff Reports to Council, and more information about the proposed development in Northeast False Creek can be viewed on the City’s webpages.
You can also see a longer VPSN blog post on the subject here.