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First new downtown park in more than a decade as Park Board approves innovative design for Smithe and Richards

May 31 2016

Preferred design for the future park at Richards and Smithe

The Vancouver Park Board approved the final design plan for the new downtown park at a Board meeting last night.

“The park at Smithe and Richards will open in two years and will be the first new downtown park since Emery Barnes Park opened 13 years ago,” said Vancouver Park Board Chair Sarah Kirby-Yung.

“It features a unique five-metre high elevated walkway offering bird’s-eye views of the entire park and large overhead ‘sky-frames’ or arches that can support specialty overhead lighting and ephemeral art installations.”

0.8 acres of new green space

The park will provide almost an acre of new green space in the heart of the dense downtown core, where almost a hundred thousand people live, work, and play. It will be just a few minutes’ walk from Granville and Robson streets, the Vancouver Public Library main branch, Yaletown, and BC Place stadium.

Read the staff report with the final design PDF file (3 MB)

Three terraces

Working with the sloped conditions of the existing site, the park design includes three terraced spaces:

  1. The upper level will host a community long table located below a canopy of trees
  2. The middle space will accommodate a children's play area
  3. The largest terrace space located to the south will consist of a civic plaza with food and beverage kiosk, water feature, and a variety of seating areas

All areas of the park will have pathways with universal access.

Opening in fall 2018

Construction is expected to begin next spring with the park opening in fall 2018. The estimated cost is $6 million. The site of the new downtown park is currently a parking lot.

Get more details on the park

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