Mike Howell in the Courier waxes bemused by the DVBIA, and it’s new views on progressive changes in downtown Vancouver. So what’s behind this new attitude? Why, a survey of people who live and work downtown, called Re-Imagine Downtown Vancouver.
This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association (DVBIA). To commemorate this milestone, we partnered with SFU Public Square to launch Re-Imagine Downtown Vancouver, a public engagement process to co-create a future-oriented and inclusive experience over the next 25 years. This is the culmination of our engagement work.
To quote Mr. Howell and the Courier:
Downtown business association eschews arrogance for relevance
. . . Well, it’s not the first time the association has come around on an issue that it panned from the get-go. Examples would be the association’s early opposition to the city’s push to build separated bike lanes downtown and the plan to demolish the Georgia and Dunsmuir viaducts.
Eventually, after reviewing the city’s data and hearing from businesses and customers, the association gave both proposals the green light. So here’s the thing: The public and council can likely expect more of that green-lighting from the association on progressive city-shaping proposals.
That’s because of a “game changer” of a report the association and Simon Fraser University Public Square produced last year. The report, Re-Imagine Downtown Vancouver, was the result of asking 11,000 people what they want downtown to look like by 2040. Hint: It doesn’t involve freeways. Instead, we’re talking more green space, public art, pedestrian and bicycle-friendly routes, activation of alleyways, new housing options and a unique and vibrant business scene.
“That sets the tone,” Gauthier said of the document. “It’s a new day, it’s a new era and, yes, things are going to change. And the organization’s perspective on a variety of different positions is going to be different.”