Help make downtown public space more vibrant!

Help make public space in downtown Vancouver more vibrant and inviting by playing a part in the City of Vancouver’s Public Space and Public Life Study.

Volunteer for the public space and public life study

The City of Vancouver is looking for volunteers to help collect “people data” to better understand how residents and visitors get around and spend time in downtown Vancouver. The research will offer insight into what people like about public space, how they use it and why. Public life surveys will be conducted during September 2017 and again in January 2018 to capture seasonal variations in public life. Volunteers are invited to take part in both surveys.

The study is an opportunity for anyone interested in city planning, design, or public spaces to learn more and take an active role in future changes to the downtown public realm.

For the first survey:

  • Volunteers will work shifts on September 14 or September 16, 2017. You will help gather behavioural mapping data and conduct surveys at various locations in downtown Vancouver.
  • Training sessions will take place on September 13.
  • Most shifts will be four hours and take place between 8 am and 8 pm. Some shifts involve a shorter time commitment.
  • Volunteers are welcome to take part in more than one shift.

To sign up as a volunteer, email by Friday, September 8, 2017.

Vancouver public space and public life


The Public Space and Public Life Study is being conducted by Gehl, a global leader in people-centered urban design as part of the City’s Places for People Downtown program. Places for People Downtown is being led by the City’s Planning, Urban Design and Sustainability Department. This imitative will help create a comprehensive Downtown Public Space Strategy in 2018 to make sure we have vibrant, exceptional and memorable public spaces in the downtown core. The strategy’s study areas include the Central Business District, Coal Harbour, West End, Downtown South, Yaletown, False Creek North, and Northeast False Creek.

From plazas and parklets to laneway art and public squares, Vancouver is creating innovative public places across the city. These places offer space for people to connect with their city and with each other. The City works collaboratively across departments and with the public on a number of public space initiatives. This work includes developing an overarching strategy to foster outstanding public spaces in downtown Vancouver through Places for People Downtown. It also includes  VIVA Vancouver, which continues to trial public space interventions across Vancouver; such as parklets, strEATeries, and pavement-to-plaza activations.


Downtown public spaces are priority for the VCPC.  In December 2016, we submitted the a memorandum to Mayor and council on the topic:

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