April 4, 2019

Whither Vancouver Parks? Open House April 7

If you’ve ever wanted to see changes in how City of Vancouver parks — the public spaces themselves, as well as their facilities and services — are managed and delivered to citizens, now’s the chance to have your say.

On Sunday, April 7 from 1-4pm, Park Board Commissioners and staff are holding an open house at CityLab (511 West Broadway) to gather public input for “Vancouver’s Playbook” (also called VanPlay), a new plan intended to guide the parks and recreation strategy through to 2045.

Vancouver is home to world-class parks and recreation, and our population is growing and changing.

It’s essential we look to the future to protect and improve parks and recreation across the city.

VanPlay is a year-long conversation with you, our staff, partners, stakeholders, and experts to make this the best plan it can be.

Of note – the Park Board wants to define “Strategic Big Moves for a More Equitable and Connected future”. What does that mean?

In a nutshell, per their VanPlay presentation at the February 11, 2019 board meeting:

The Park Board is committed to creating a more equitable city. Our new “Equity Initiative Zones” helps prioritise investments in parks and recreation in order to provide access for all.

We have a bold vision for a city-wide network of parks, green spaces, shorelines, forests, recreation centres, sports fields and trails; interwoven with day-to-day life.

But day-to-day life is complex, and the Park Board has often found itself unable to resolve and reconcile itself to one such complex aspect of the public realm that goes to (and through) its jurisdiction — the transportation network.

We’ve written about it once or twice, or possibly more. (Even ad nauseum.)

And we think we know what cycling advocacy group HUB Cycling might say about the Park Board’s use of the phrase ‘access for all’ in such close proximity to the word ‘equitable’ — bring it on.

They’ve been pushing the Park Board to deal with the unsafe conditions plaguing people of all ages and abilities who attempt to bike to our parks, such as the strange case of the Kitsilano Beach Park bike path that snakes, unmarked and unprotected, through a parking lot.

You can see a chronology of their advocacy for safe cycling in parks on the HUB Cycling website.

(And why is transportation even in the Park Board purview? Because of the 66-year-old Vancouver Charter – see Chapter 55, Part XXIII – Parks, sec. 488.)

To have your say about Vancouver Parks and the 25-year strategic visioning process, check out the Open House:

Sunday, April 7, 1-4pm
511 West Broadway

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  1. For Expo 1986, then Minister of Transportation, Grace McCarthy, implemented a plan to have 19 ethnic garden parks, maintained by their respective peoples, along the SkyTrain line.
    Only 3 remain.
    I know only of the German Canadian Heritage Plaza across from 29th Ave Station.
    Can someone fill in the blanks?

  2. I’m guessing just the Italians and Japanese would have what it takes to keep these garden parks going.
    Would love to see all of them up and running.
    It could be a competitive point of pride.
    Go Greeks. Go Punjabis. Go Iranians.


    Can’t believe someone hasn’t been able to step up to the plate and answer my simple questions.
    All the last comments have been park related. Surely someone knows something about the ethnic garden parks along the EXPO line. There were, supposedly, 2,000 people (“enthusiastic participants” – oompah) at the opening of the German Canadian Heritage plaza in 1986. It’s a sweet little spot, but could use some some Rauchen Verboten signs.
    Somebody knows something about what happened to the rest of the garden parks. What about the 3 that are alleged to still exist? Vee haf vays of making you talk.
    How about Kluckner, or a journo?
    It’s good that users of this site reference cities around the world – what about here? The concept of these parks is excellent. Momiji Gardens is one I’ve gone to many times, but it’s not on the Sky Train line. Sun Yat Sen is pretty close. Maybe that’s one of them.

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