Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Granville Island 2040 Plan Advisory Board Announced

When I arrived in the CMHC Vancouver office in 1974, my first assignment was to prepare a map of the businesses and buildings on Granville Island. CMHC had recently been given responsibility for the property, thanks to the efforts of Ron Basford, and the planning process was getting underway.

In the subsequent months I vividly remember walking the property with Public Works Canada (PWC) officials who announced "this building will have to go" and "that building will have to go". However, when my former UofT architecture classmates Norm Hotson and Joost Bakker were hired to develop the overall plan, they determined that many buildings slated for demolition by PWC could in fact remain.

There are many wonderful stories related to the planning and development of the island. CMHC tried to buy out the Ocean Cement lease but it was going to be too costly. Hotson said not to worry, its presence would add to the authenticity of the place. It is noteworthy that many years later, when the lease did come up, CMHC decided to extend it for many more years, rather than have them vacate.

Another involved a dispute over the colour of the building that is now Bridges restaurant. Hotson got his way and it remained yellow; the colour when the building was occupied by Arrow Transfer.

Over the subsequent years I remained involved with the island in a number of different ways. Following a mid-80s proposal from Imperial Parking to build a parkade on the island, my company was hired by CMHC to manage a proposal call to solicit other proposals. However, the thought of a parking barricade at the entrance of the island seemed wrong and we subsequently proposed that existing buildings be converted to interim parking uses, rather than turn the entire island into a giant Impark lot. I was very pleased CMHC and the City of Vancouver, which had to issue the permits, agreed with this approach.

Working with transportation consultants, my firm also recommended that the island's circulation pattern be completely reconfigured to essentially what it is today. (Although in those days, we did not have to deal with so many tourist buses.)

Norm Hotson often said the success of Granville Island was that it was not designed for tourists; it was designed to appeal to locals, which is partly why it became such a popular tourist destination, much to the chagrin of many.

It was for these and other reasons that I was delighted to recently be advised of my appointment to a new advisory board to help determine a vision for Granville Island 2040. I look forward to again working with former SFU President Michael Stevenson, with whom I worked for 6 years on UniverCity, and 19 very bright and creative people.

Below is yesterday's announcement by the minister responsible for CMHC, who I might add is a very impressive individual. A former head of the economics department at Laval University, he is a very good choice for the role. http://pm.gc.ca/eng/minister/honourable-jean-yves-duclos

I am also looking forward to more meetings with Evan Siddall, President of CMHC, who also has impressive credentials. https://www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca/en/corp/about/cogo/cogo_061.cfm.
We have a couple of things in common. He once lived in a laneway house, a form of housing I have been promoting for 40+ years since my days at CMHC, and he too drives a Tesla!

Granville Island 2040 Plan Advisory Board Announced
By Marketwired — Jun 27 2016
VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBA--(Marketwired - June 27, 2016) - 

The members of the Granville Island 2040 Plan Advisory Board were announced today by Minister Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development and Minister responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).

The advisory board represents a broad and diverse range of disciplines, including planning experts, entrepreneurs, artists, and representatives from the Granville Island business and cultural communities. The board will help guide the process and decisions of the plan for the continued long-term success of Granville Island. Dr. Michael Stevenson is leading the project on behalf of CMHC.

The plan, which will set out the future of Granville Island for the next 25 years, is being developed with the City of Vancouver and will set out plans for the Emily Carr University buildings, revitalization of the popular Public Market, and the advancement of the arts and cultural industry on the island.

"This esteemed group of community leaders, with the guidance of Dr. Stevenson, will ensure the continued long-term success and sustainability of the Island as a year-round cultural, recreational, and educational centre," said Minister Duclos.

It has been forty years since Granville Island was redeveloped from a derelict brownfield to a popular urban park and cultural hub for Vancouver. CMHC is the federal crown corporation responsible for managing Granville Island.

Schedules for broad community consultation will be announced in the coming weeks.

Larry Beasley, Principal, Beasley and Associates
Douglas Coupland, writer and artist
Michael Geller, President, Geller Group
Anne Giardini, Chancellor, Simon Fraser University
Howard Jang, Professor, Professional Practice and Director, SFU Woodward's Cultural Unit
Am Johal, Director, SFU Vancity Office of Community Engagement
Sadhu Johnston, City Manager, City of Vancouver
Wendy Grant-John, Senior Aboriginal Advisor, Deloitte
Carol Lee, Chair of the Vancouver Chinatown Foundation and the Vancouver Chinatown Revitalization Committee
Gloria Loree, Executive Director of Communications and Public Relations, Destination Canada
Dale McClanaghan, Chair, Granville Island Trust
Yashau Nijati, Founder, thisopenspace
Eric Pateman, President & Founder, Edible Canada
Robin Petri, Vice-President, Development, Catalyst Community Developments
Geoff Plant, Chancellor, Emily Carr University of Art + Design
Gordon Price, Director, The City Program at SFU
Jessica Schauteet, President, Granville Island Community and Business Association
Maged Senbel, Associate Professor, PhD Program Chair, and Associate Director of UBC's School of Community and Regional Planning
Ron Stern, President, Stern Partners
Erica Tao, Regional Director General, Heritage Canada

Granville Island is Vancouver's premier artistic and cultural hub, located in an urban, waterfront location and steeped in a rich industrial and maritime heritage. A unique public space that attracts millions of visitors each year from Vancouver and around the world, the charm of Granville Island lies in its unexpected mix of uses, including its famous Public Market. The Island is home to 280 businesses employing about 3,000 people.

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC)
Mathieu Filion
Director of Communications
Office of Minister Duclos

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Way too big a group. More is less. It's not a Board; it's a platoon.