Public Space-making

beyond plans

The social and health benefits of vibrant public spaces are broadly accepted across Vancouver through its Healthy City Strategy (2014).

With the support of a 2017 VIVA Refresh grant from the City of Vancouver, we conducted study and simulation of new public space in Chinatown to show its added role in elevating cultural and community values and their public expression. In the Chinatown Neighbourhood Plan (2012), special events and daily activities in public places are recognized to be an essential part of urban life and contribute towards the community’s identity and sense of pride.


reimagining public space in vancouver's chinatown

Our exercise in public space-making was conducted at the cultural and geographic heart of the community at Keefer and Columbia, which in recent years, has become a highly political site.

Two pop-up street closures invited people to enjoy and help reimagine this area through a community-led design process conducted by young graduates of the UBC School of Community & Regional Planning. LEARN MORE through the project report. With methodology and data via Appendix.

PROJECT TEAM | Ignatius But, Eliana Chia, Doris Chow, June Chow, Alix Krahn, Frankie Mao, Carmut Me


urban design booklet

See the resulting design concept for Keefer and Columbia, based on Experiences of Chinatown that people shared with us and which are unique to the neighbourhood!

[Download the print version]

Site Analysis shows huge potential!

Design Concept: central plaza with three different paths to it, each highlighting a different experience of Chinatown

Heart of Chinatown (central plaza)

Vibrant Chinatown: path from historic Pender Street, featuring shopping and learning

Serene Chinatown: path from and past Memorial Statue, with added contemplative elements 

Playful Chinatown: path from park/green space to the south, featuring activities and exercise across generations