The Concord Community Park – something more than a pop-up intervention on the northeast corner of False Creek – is both community-minded and clever.
The 3.5-acre transformation of some decaying asphalt, opened at the end of September, serves as both a play space prior to development of the last piece of Concord Pacific Place, and as a way to placate the neighbouring critics, particularly in CityGate, who have persistently distorted the timing on the provision of a park (required, but not until adjacent development is specifically approved.)
Puting in an interim park before legally required is a strategy Concord used at the beginning of the megaproject when it grassed in David Lam Park in the late 1980s, before there was hardly a highrise, using it as much as an advertisement as an amenity.
Though this version is surrounded by blue fencing (ensuring, I presume, security at night), there’s now a seamless flow of green between Creekside Park and this play space – and play is the operative word. I lost count of the segments that offer different ways to engage with different kinds of balls, from ping pong to basketball.
Each play area has accompanying seating and grass spaces – fun for people to watch people playing for fun. Not to mention the picnic tables for the way we all enjoy public space: eating and drinking.
It struck me that perhaps, when the permanent design is in place after years of consultation, this temporary version will be looked back upon fondly, something that, because of its impermanence, responded better to people’s needs and desires to actually use than to gaze upon.