What a difference light and angles make in portraying space.  Urban YVR presents some compelling images of the Northeast False Creek temporary park, which while 3.5 acres in size has taken several decades to be created despite an agreement between the City and the owner of the land, Concord Pacific. This is near the Citygate buildings where residents have been lobbying for Something To Be Done. The False Creek Residents Association also joined the fray  requesting that the city insist that Concord Pacific pony up the temporary park which was  part of the City’s agreement.

Produced by PWL Partnership this park in waiting has some grass, some lighting, picnic tables, a volleyball court and a lot of asphalt.  Once Concord develops their lands west of Carrall Street, they are going to redo the park with a more splashy design by James Corner Field Operations of New York City and the PWL partnership.

But there is more to the story and don’t think for a moment that Concord is acting out of altruism~and you can read about the court case here.

The  False Creek Residents Association (FCRA) tried to quash a three-year temporary permit given by the City when Concord plunked their presentation centre on what was to be the site of the new seaside park.  They were told in 2014 that the City would not give another temporary commercial use permit after 2017. As the FCRA said at that time

The City of Vancouver’s current park concept plan is not in keeping with the vision of a waterfront oriented park space. It does not meet the vision of a park for Vancouver citizens that was contractually agreed on with Concord Pacific nearly three decades ago, and who has benefited from tax breaks, and profited from having a presentation centre on the park site during that timeframe.”

In 2017 Concord reached an agreement with the City to keep their presentation centre on the proposed park site, and instead build a “temporary” park. A year and change later, it is built. But locals are asking~after decades of waiting, is this park good enough?

Or is it merely a placeholder in advance of Concorde’s own development approval? As one twitter pundit observed “It looks like someone googled “minimum effort ever”. Has the designer ever even seen a park?! are you cool with this? There should be a bronze phone in the middle of the park as a tribute to “phoning it in.”

The costs of creating this temporary park, hiring the designers, and the operating costs are fully funded by Concord Pacific. But is it enough after the community waited decades for Concord to follow through on their commitment?



Image: UrbanYVR


  1. You can tell it’s a corporate park, all right. The fence is a giveaway. A safe public park needn’t be fenced off. But, in reality, I get that. The ‘hood has too many social issues (drug use, needles, homelessness) that need to be addressed before a truly enjoyable public park can be created, one that doesn’t become yet another sketchy public space, like much of the existing Andy Livingston Park.

    1. I agree. The reason for the fence is that they close it at night. I don’t know the hours, but it is open by 7:30 AM when I cycle by.

  2. Of course it’s temporary. The entire area is supposed to be developed within 10 years. Even if this exact same footprint will eventually serve as a park it will need to be wholly redesigned to suit the needs of the surrounding context, desire paths, view corridors, etc.

    What on Earth are people expecting here? Future-proofed permanence? A Millennium Park oevre completed in seamless, clairvoyant integration with the $5B neighbourhood that will eventually surround it? If those are locals’ expectant standards for this space, then yes, by that measure it is a thoughtcrime whose memory can only be cleansed through fire. Otherwise it’s just a nice little amenity that will be gone in a few years; probably an improvement upon the littered parking lot that was there before.

  3. This is but another example of the previous, Vision Vancouver administration’s attempt to form Park Board policy. If authority for Creekside had been transferred to the Park Board back in 2014 or such, I very much doubt we’d be having the conversation. The land would now be park space, regardless of what may or may not happen with the viaducts.

  4. It’s another example of “planned obsolescence” – it’s a disposable park.
    I understand that it’s not taxpayer’s money (I guess it’ll come from condo purchasers in the long run), but expectations should be tempered as it’ll be demolished (and disposed of) in the future.
    Also, the more permanent it is, the more likely it’ll stay a while.

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