A little bit of Paris, France is coming to Westminster Pier Park along the riverbanks of New Westminster.
City officials are in the process of developing detailed landscaping plans for the park’s Timber Wharf – an area paved with asphalt that could be home to elements such as a large urban beach with sand and beach umbrellas.
The inspiration for the design can be sourced to the artificial beaches that line the Seine River in central Paris, and such installations have proven to be a major draw for both locals and tourists ever since they were first built in 2006. There are also ‘sandbox’ urban beaches elsewhere in France, Berlin, Manchester, Budapest, Prague and even Toronto.
Image: HtO Park via City of Toronto
While it will provide New Westminster residents with an opportunity to soak up some sun in a sandy, beach-like environment, there will be no water access due to safety concerns over the fast flowing current of the Fraser River.
The urban beach is meant to be a year-round installation and could be built in time for this summer. It is part of the municipal government’s plan to develop temporary fixtures on the Timber Wharf until funding can be secured to undergo a complete upgrade of the structure and the pilings it sits on.
The estimated cost for the temporary programming has been pegged at $650,000, which includes $95,000 for the urban beach, $100,000 for general landscaping, $78,100 for an outdoor group fitness area, and $23,000 for a public pathway. This will add on to the two sand volleyball courts that were installed in 2013.
Further down the Fraser River, a real beach with water access could built as part of the public spaces for the City of Vancouver’s up-and-coming East Fraserlands neighbourhohod.
Preliminary Concept at Westminster Pier Park Wharf
Image: Talk in French