The City of Vancouver has released its conceptual plans for the redevelopment of Northeast False Creek, which entails the controversial demolition of the Georgia and Dunsmuir viaducts and the construction of an 11-acre extension of Creekside Park.
The new park designed by James Corner, the internationally renowned landscape architectural whose firm is behind New York City’s Highline Park, involves merging the park spaces of Andy Livingstone Park and Creekside Park to create a newly designed waterfront park space in the inner harbour.
There will be programmable open spaces suitable for events and sports mixed in with a new skateboard park, a reconfiguration of the seawall around the water, the closure and conversion of Carrall Street through Andy Livingstone Park into new green space, the creation of gardens and wetlands, a water play plaza, and children’s playgrounds.
One of the defining elements of the new public space is Dunsmuir Elevated Park, an elevated green space with bike lanes and pedestrian walkways.
A new pedestrian bridge over Pacific Boulevard will also connect Andy Livingstone Park with the new park and green spaces by the water.
“The park will be unique and will have a singular identity unlike any other park in Vancouver,” reads the plan. “Spaces will be designed for flexible and multipurpose use that can easily change throughout the day, over the seasons and through the years.”
Altogether, the plan creates at least 13.75 acres of new park and open space in Northeast False Creek.
Vancouver City Council approved the plan in October 2015 to demolish the viaducts and reconfigure the area for new parks and public spaces, housing developments, and a new smaller east-west road that replaces Expo Boulevard, Pacific Boulevard, and the viaducts.
Pacific Boulevard near BC Place will become a two-directional street, and West Georgia Street will be extended to Pacific Boulevard between BC Place and Rogers Arena.
The entire plan was expected to cost $150 million at the time of approval but it has since increased to $200 million.
Housing developments, including a mix of market, rental, and affordable housing, could increase the neighbourhood’s population by as much as 15,000 residents. Major redevelopments are planned by Canadian Metropolitan Properties at the site of the Plaza of Nations, Concord Pacific at its remaining parcel of lands in the area, and near Main Street on the existing footprint of the viaducts.
City Council is expected to make a final decision on the viaducts removal and conceptual plan this fall.
The Dunsmuir Elevated Park will begin at the existing western end of the Dunsmuir Viaduct next to Rogers Arena and end at Quebec Street. There will be bike lanes and pedestrian paths as well as seating and rest areas, viewpoints to False Creek and the mountains, awnings and canopies, public art, and nighttime lighting.
A pedestrian walkway will be created between the elevated park and SkyTrain’s Chinatown-Stadium Station to provide a direct connection to transit. Several vertical access points are planned between the elevated park and the ground level.
For the portion of the elevated park next to Rogers Arena, it will be designed as a programmable gathering space as a part of the area’s entertainment district.
Carrall Street’s roadway will be permanently closed for a conversion into new green spaces with bike lanes and a pedestrian walkway extending from Keefer Street, through Andy Livingstone Park, under the SkyTrain elevated guideway, and to False Creek.
The areas adjacent to the SkyTrain elevated guideway will be enhanced.
A pavilion with a canopy in the new park provides flexible community event space as well as a food and beverage destination with tables and chairs.
A plaza space with fountains provides a water play area. When the fountains are turned off, it becomes a flexible space for play, public art, and events.
A new skateboard park that replaces the existing facility under the viaducts will be bbuilt at the corner of Quebec Street and Pacific Boulevard. The facility will be under a canopy to provide weather protection and high visibility.
A new garden area will feature a mixture of seasonally-diverse meadow grasses, perennials, bulbs, and flowering shrubs.
The new park space will collect rain water and divert it to a new wetland area that purifies water and creates a diverse habitat display.
There will be a mix of spaces, multipurpose features, sports fields, fitness spaces, and landscape elements that encourage play for all ages.
A large flexible open green space will be an area for both leisure and a venue for community events and festivals.