Vancouverites will have a few more outdoor spaces they can use to safely socially distance this summer, thanks to the City of Vancouver.
On Friday, the City is installing the first of several "temporary pop-up plazas," located at 27th Avenue and Fraser Street, "to help residents safely return to community life," the City explained in a release. The initiative is the City's latest measure to "provide people with more space to resume everyday activities" amid the province's COVID-19 recovery efforts.
Residents will be able to use these plazas, which will include temporary seating, "to eat, visit, rest, and enjoy the weather while maintaining a safe distance from others."
More of these plazas will be popping up across Vancouver in the coming weeks, as City staff continues working alongside stakeholders, Business Improvement Associations and neighbourhoods, "to help businesses reopen and give residents more public space to enjoy their communities," Those involved will also be taking steps to ensure each plaza fits into the fabric of its individual neighbourhood. The City is also asking for public feedback on the initiative, not only to improve the pop-up plazas as the summer goes on, but to determine if any should stick around following B.C.'s recovery from the current pandemic.
In addition, the City is also working with partners to create "parklets" that are set to be installed across the Downtown East Side on Friday. Parklets are typically built as an extended platform over an on-street parking space, effectively extending the sidewalk. These spaces normally include public seating, landscaping, and bike parking, according to the City. In this case, the measure aims "to support local residents as services reopen and additional space is needed," as part of a wider plan to provide safe outdoor spaces for DTES residents.
The parklets are being built at five initial locations, including:
· Vancouver Coastal Health Clinic, 569 Powell Street
· Vancouver Coastal Health Clinic, 59 West Pender Street
· Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre (DEWC), 302 Columbia Street
· Evelyne Saller Centre, 320 Alexander Street (extension of existing parklet)
· Gathering Place, 609 Helmcken Street (outside of the DTES)