VIVA Vancouver transforms city streets into vibrant summer spaces

May 15, 2012 | Arts and Culture

Granville, Robson Square among key areas to be activated for public:

Back by popular demand, the City of Vancouver’s VIVA Vancouver program kicks off this summer, transforming street spaces like Granville and Robson Square into inviting temporary public spaces where people can stop, sit and relax, hang out with friends and meet their neighbours.

“Building on the success and popularity of last year’s family-friendly program, VIVA Vancouver will once again re-imagine our streets in innovative new ways,” said Mayor Gregor Robertson. “We know there’s huge demand from the public to get out and enjoy our public spaces, and to do it in new and creative ways.

“Building strong business and community partnerships is an important objective of the VIVA Vancouver program, and I want to thank all of our partner organizations who will help bring our streets to life this summer.”

The free program capitalizes on Vancouverites’ love of the outdoors by promoting a culture of walking and spending time outside in vibrant urban settings across the city. VIVA Vancouver provides people of all ages with opportunities to enjoy themselves all summer long through new pop-up plazas, pop-up decks, and pedestrian streets featuring local arts and culture. VIVA Vancouver differs from car-free days that are one-day, large-scale events.

VIVA Vancouver and its key partners, the Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association (DVBIA) and TransLink, are working with several other local community and business organizations to deliver an exciting program.

“We’ve learned you can’t just ‘build it and they will come,’” says Charles Gauthier, Executive Director of the DVBIA, of Granville Street. “VIVA Vancouver has been a great partnership to actively manage the street as a temporary public space. We look forward to another great summer.”

Temporary public spaces and activations planned for this summer include those listed below. VIVA Vancouver will continue to work with communities and business organizations to add other opportunities throughout the summer.

  • As in 2011, downtown Granville Street (between Smithe and Hastings streets) will be transformed into a pedestrian corridor with full road closures on weekends. Between June 23 and Labour Day (September 3), VIVA Granville will feature community events and other unique activations for people to enjoy.
  • The 800-block of Robson Street, between the Provincial Law Courts and the Vancouver Art Gallery, will become a temporary pedestrian plaza with full road closures every day between June 23 and Labour Day. It will include a unique seating installation called Pop Rocks.
  • On-street murals will be painted on the asphalt in Marpole, West End and Mt. Pleasant, with help from community members. This is being done as part of the community planning process in the West End and Marpole and supports Mt. Pleasant’s existing Community Plan.
  • Livable Laneways market series, featuring local art, live music and food returns to Mt. Pleasant for three Saturday evenings: July 21, July 28 and August 4.
  • Parallel Park, a pop-up deck, will remain in place in Mt. Pleasant at E. 14th and Main. A new pop-up deck, called Hot Tubs, will be introduced in the South Hill area.

VIVA Vancouver encourages sustainable and active transportation by creating safer and more interesting spaces for walking and cycling. It aligns with Vancouver’s Transportation Plan and Greenest City 2020 Action Plan objectives.

Visit VIVA Vancouver to learn more about what’s happening across the city this summer!