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Vancouver Park Board launches Van Splash consultation and "quick start" pop-up pool

July 21 2016

"Innovative expansion of outdoor swimming pools and facilities is a key priority for this Board and driver of the VanSplash long-term aquatics strategy," said Park Board Chair Sarah Kirby-Yung.

VanSplash Aquatics Strategy

The Vancouver Park Board is taking the first step to improve access to aquatic recreation with a proposal for the city’s first ever outdoor pop-up pool.

We expect to identify a pop-up pool location in a neighborhood currently without an outdoor pool this fall as part of the VanSplash aquatics consultation.

The expansion of outdoor pools is our priority. VanSplash will also examine other innovative swimming options such as Webber Natural Pool External website in Minneaoplis, Harbor Deck natural pool External website and movable floating pools similar to one in New York built on a barge External website.

“We are looking at fresh and exciting ways we can meet demand such as the Webber Natural Swimming Pool in Minneapolis as part of the city-wide aquatics consultation. Meanwhile, this Board will deliver a pop-up pool in 2017 as a rapid response to a top recreation priority.” said Park Board Chair Sarah Kirby-Yung.

Pop-up pools as community hubs

Temporary pools are popping up all over the world as cities grapple with how to create cooling urban oases and animate public spaces. They are lighter, quicker, and cheaper alternatives to expensive, permanent outdoor pools.

Pop-up pools balance family fun with recreational swimming. In Philadelphia External website and New York City External website, they have become community hubs featuring colorful beach furniture, umbrellas, and planters on concrete pool decks.

Swimming on the rise

Our planning staff will present information on pop-up pools at the July 25 Board meeting when we will also launch VanSplash, our most comprehensive review of aquatic facilities and services in 15 years.

Demand for swimming in Vancouver is on the rise due to changing demographic trends and new facilities in recent years. VanSplash will review existing pools and beaches and look at ways to renew or replace aging aquatic facilities through the lens of citywide equity and service gaps.

Help imagine Vancouver's aquatic future

We invite you to join the aquatic conversation at two outdoor events this weekend – July 23 and 24 – at Kitsilano and New Brighton Pools. By completing a short survey on the VanSplash webpage during July 22 and September 10, you could win a three-month Flexipass and swim swag. If you have questions, email our aquatic strategy team at vansplash@vancouver.ca.

Visit the VanSplash webpage

The VanSplash consultation will continue through the summer and over the next 10 months, resulting in a full report to the Board by mid-2017.