September 16, 2016

by Roshini Nair, CBC News

Vancouverites encouraged to hit the streets for a POPCrawl

The event organized by SFU Public Square celebrates beloved public spaces in downtown Vancouver

A new urban tour is taking Vancouverites to some of the most beloved public spaces in the city.

SFU Public Square is organizing a "POP" Crawl — or "'Power of Placemaking" Crawl. Tonight, participants can obtain a "passport" at a launch party starting in Robson Plaza, and then visit 27 different celebrated public spaces in the downtown core at their leisure.

The event coincides with two major conferences in the city this week on "placemaking".

Placemaking is another term for urban design and development, explains POP Crawl organizer Janet Webber.

"It's making a place that reflects the people that live in the city, that's meeting their needs, that's helping them build community."

Webber says there are a number of spaces in the downtown core that have been transformed into vibrant public spaces, and the city is doing some major work revitalizing others, including some back alleys.

One of the stops on the POP Crawl, for example, is Lot 19 on the corner of Hornby and Hastings Streets.

"Imagine this a couple of years ago. There weren't planters, there weren't these movable tables and chairs, and this really was a dead, flat space ... Now it's become a very popular space to hang out and a thoroughfare for walking."

The free launch party kicks off at 5 p.m. PT tonight, September 15, at the south plaza of the Vancouver Art Gallery. POP Crawl sites will be active from 5 - 8 p.m. PT, and participants can pick up their POP Crawl passport at any participating location on the tour.

To listen to the segment, click on the link labelled 'POP' Crawls explore the Power of Placemaking

This article was published originally on CBC News on September 15, 2016.