Another in our series of posts on Vancouver’s really big transformation of a 1950’s-vintage, 28-acre car-oriented urban shopping mall into a transit-oriented mixed use community.
And now, something that surprised me.
Nine acres of the new Oakridge Centre will be a park owned and operated by Vancouver’s Park Board as a “. . .destination park for the rest of the City.” HERE is a staff report (77-page PDF) approved July 9, 2018 by the Vancouver Park Board on a remarkable, first of it’s kind relationship between a developer and the Park Board. (Thanks to Jeff Leigh, regular PT commenter).
The redevelopment of Oakridge Centre will include a new Vancouver Park Board owned and operated park. The new nine (9) acre public park will be the first of its kind of this scale in Vancouver, located partially on the roof top of the mall and partially at ground level. Although not the first Park Board Park built on structure, it will be the largest to date. This innovation in park design will offer a unique experience for existing and new residents in the area and will act as a destination park for the rest of the city. It will be designed and operated to look, feel and function as a part of the Park Board’s system with equal access for all. . . .
The new nine (9) acre public park at Oakridge Centre will offer a unique experience for existing and new residents in the area and will act as a destination park for the rest of the city. Featuring six (6) distinct park areas with a balance of lively and tranquil spaces in order to provide a wide range of activities, from social, active and fitness focused to calm, peaceful and restorative. Applying a rich layer of ecological and horticultural design, the park will create unexpected nature on a rooftop, redefining what is possible on a landscape on top of a building. Featuring a series of unique but interconnected spaces, the park will be woven together with a rich Pacific Northwest landscape and an 800m jogging and walking track.
The park will be constructed and programmed to both function and be perceived as a fully public, inviting and accessible Park Board park for all, meeting the new park’s vision to “provide a diverse and welcoming collection of park spaces balancing tranquil and active uses strongly connected by an unexpected rooftop Pacific Northwest landscape”, and “ensure vibrant interaction between the adjacent civic centre and the shopping mall uses to create a lively citywide destination while also serving the daily park and recreation needs of nearby residents”.