VANCOUVER, May 23, 2017 – Improving accessibility, creating a market district, developing a more vibrant arts & innovation sector, and enhancing the public realm are the key recommended strategies of Granville Island 2040: Bridging Past & Future, which was released today by CMHC-Granville Island.
“This is a bold, comprehensive, long-term vision for Granville Island that addresses our challenges, initiates exciting new development, and fosters renewed passion for creativity and innovation,” said Evan Siddall, President & CEO, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). CMHC has managed Granville Island on behalf of the Government of Canada since its redevelopment in 1973.
Dr. Michael Stevenson led the 18-month project on behalf of CMHC with a team of experts consisting of HCMA Architects (land use), AMS (arts & culture), Bunt & Associates (transportation), and Flatbush Consulting (economic analysis and governance review). A local Advisory Board provided feedback throughout the plan’s creation.
Granville Island 2040: Bridging Past & Future was developed with extensive public consultation that engaged both visitors to Granville Island and residents throughout Metro Vancouver. Through a combination of workshops and open houses, in-person and online surveys, social media, and comments submitted via the project website (granvilleisland2040.com), the process made more than 10,000 individual contacts with community members.
“We heard loud and clear that people love Granville Island and do not want to see drastic change. The public says to keep doing what we are doing, but do it a little better and do a lot more of it,” added Siddall.
The plan builds on the success of the past, while offering bold new recommendations that anticipate how Granville Island can remain a dynamic destination for future generations to visit and enjoy. Changes in infrastructure to improve traffic and parking, as well as public realm enhancements aimed at restoring the pedestrian-friendly streetscape, have been identified as key priorities for the long-term success of the Island. As the Public Market continues to be Granville Island’s most popular destination, developing a market district to create a leading food and restaurant scene is vital. Building on the Island’s existing cultural assets, the plan calls for new facilities, programs, and public spaces, which will enhance Granville Island as an internationally important arts and innovation district that is lively both day and night. An important next step will include repurposing the Emily Carr University of Art + Design buildings, which will be vacant in January 2018. A public process, which will include a call for Expressions of Interest, will be launched later in 2017, with the goal of transforming the buildings into a vibrant, cutting-edge, multi-tenant arts and innovation hub.
A synopsis of Granville Island 2040: Bridging Past & Future is attached. The complete plan is publicly available at the Granville Island 2040 website: granvilleisland2040.ca.
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