Another imported post from Performing Vancouver, this one by Melanie Shim on the lack of public space in Vancouver:
If you did not already get the idea, I am an advocate for Vancouver's own public space/square/etc. Public squares are not only places for debate, or social change; they are also places where citizens socialize to foster a sense of community, to come together with or without purpose.
In 2008 (and lasting until September 2009), the Vancouver Public Space Network held "Where's the Square?", a design idea competition for Vancouver's own public square. Over 100 design teams signed up and a total of 54 entries were submitted, with the possibility of winning two awards: Jury's Selection and People's Choice.
Vancouverites were encouraged to submit their vote via online or at the various public events held during the competition.
The jury consisted of six members, including Lance Berelowitz, author of Dream City and Yosef Wosk, professor and director of the Interdisciplinary Programs in Continuing Studies at SFU.
The design that won the Jury Selection award was called "The Band." Submitted by Mark Ashby Architecture & Greenskins Lab, the concept was relatively simple: "To create a square specific to Vancouver, the traditional square is "unbundled" and reassembled in a linear space edged with public institutions. The combined public square is programmed sequentially by each institution in turn."
In other words, the public square would be a boardwalk-esque structure, connecting what the design team deemed to be some of Vancouver's essential institutions. The band would start at the intersection of Robson and Homer, then linking the VPL, the CBC, BC Place Stadium, the proposed new location for the VAG and finally to the False Creek seawall.
If you want to learn more about the competition, including information on the other winning designs, visit the Where's the Square? website.
Image from The Vancouver Public Space Network