Since its modern redevelopment in the 1970s, Granville Island has been regarded internationally as a model of vibrant urban placemaking. Guided by bold political leadership and visionary urban planning and design, Granville Island was redeveloped as an “urban opportunity place,” characterized by: a diverse land use mix; the preservation of historical character and authenticity; a commitment to arts and crafts, especially on-site production and experimentation; and the priority of the public realm, with an emphasis on attractive public spaces, waterfront access and a pedestrian-friendly streetscape. More than ever, people from around the world continue to enjoy this unique and quintessentially Vancouver “people place.”
These successes notwithstanding, the time is right to renew the future vision for Granville Island. The past forty years have seen massive changes in Vancouver caused by population growth, immigration, increasing cultural diversity, and the economic disruptions of global trade, new technology and climate change. The challenges and opportunities arising from these changes must be addressed if Granville Island’s success is to be sustained. Granville Island 2040 presents a vision of the future in which these challenges are met, initiating an exciting new phase of growth and development, fostering a renewed passion for creativity and innovation, and a rekindling of the love affair with the Island for new generations. In this vision, transformational changes in transportation infrastructure help reduce private automobile traffic and parking , result in many more people accessing the Island by transit, cycle, ferry and walking, and restore the pedestrian-friendly public realm. The Public Market is expanded to make space for more offerings and public amenities, and new developments allow for the creation of a Market District – one of North America’s leading food and restaurant destinations. New creative industry facilities and programs establish an internationally important arts and innovation district. And the increasing scale and variety of activity, day and night, reflects the rich diversity of the Island’s surrounding community, and its privileged location at this important gateway to Asia.