More on the Plaza at Commercial & Broadway

At the beginning of last month, City of Vancouver Planning held a “community event” to discuss an idea to move the public plaza promised in the GW Community Plan from a re-developed Safeway site to public land over the Grandview Cut.  It was, as I have discussed, a disappointing affair.

Planners have now released their report on the meeting, along with an analysis of survey results. In the email summary of the report sent to those on the GWPlan list, they note that 51% of all survey respondents voted against moving the plaza. A commentary in the email suggests that

“Generally, responses received from people who indicated they lived within the Grandview-Woodland area were opposed to the alternative plaza location. Responses received from people living outside of the neighbourhood area tended to support of the alternative plaza location.”

But the actual level of residents’ opposition is not detailed in the email.  It is not until page 21 of the detailed report that one discovers residents voted 61% against the move, while only 23% were in favour (the balance were “neutral”).  Neither age nor gender seem to have been statistically relevant in the numbers, although 84% of the 37 respondents who did not give their age were opposed.

It is good to have these numbers available — and Planning should be commended for releasing them. However, given the near certainty of moving the plaza as expressed in the developers’ meeting, combined with Vision Vancouver’s historic reluctance to take residents’ concerns into account where big development is concerned, one has to wonder whether the local opposition will once again count for anything.


One Response to More on the Plaza at Commercial & Broadway

  1. Grandview Citizen says:

    There are a few points worth mentioning that I haven’t found in your articles:

    1) Requesting demographic information (gender, age, etc) in the survey is an clear indicator of the survey’s real intent: to gather targeting information for an upcoming intensified PR campaign.

    2) A high density cluster at the top of Commercial Drive, like the one being proposed, has the real potential to suck the remaining life out of an already struggling retail environment. Merchants and commercial property owners from 7th Ave to Venables should be *very* concerned. This pattern of development if pursued will place the economy of the neighbourhood into the hands of a few (non-local) corporations and an REIT. Look at other cities where this pattern has already played out for clues about what will likely happen.

    3) The public plaza relocation proposal is idiotic. One has only to stand at the current cut (over the CP rail tracks, or under the Skytrain rails) and observe. What “public” use is currently happening in this space? Pawning of personal items under the nanny-state signage that reads “No Vending”. For bonus points, try to have a conversation there.

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