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Vancouver Park Board one step closer to installing pop-up pool

July 26 2016

“Our Board passed a motion in May asking staff to explore quick start strategies to expedite the construction of new outdoor pools,” said Park Board Chair Sarah Kirby-Yung.

Brooklyn Bridge pop-up pool

The Vancouver Park Board is one step closer to delivering a temporary pop-up pool swimming experience to residents without easy access to a neighborhood outdoor pool or beach.

Board planning staff presented options for pop-up pools at the July 25 Board meeting as the Board launched VanSplash, its most comprehensive review of aquatic facilities and services in 15 years.

Pop-up pool examples

The presentation outlined a variety of options for consideration. Among the examples:

  • Small macro-sea mobile pools in use in Detroit and the New York summer streets festival
  • Mid-size above ground pools with amenities and sandy beaches such as the Brooklyn Bridge Park pop-up
  • Larger temporary competition pools suitable for competitive swimming

Opening summer 2017

This “quick fix” will be the city’s first ever outdoor pop-up pool, slated to open for the summer of 2017 pending funding and final Board approval. The Board expects to identify a pop-up pool location in a neighborhood currently without an outdoor pool later this fall.

“Our Board passed a motion in May asking staff to explore quick start strategies to expedite the construction of new outdoor pools,” said Park Board Chair Sarah Kirby-Yung.

Staff to recommend design and location

“We were delighted to see staff provide us with interesting options from around the world and have now asked them to come back to us later this year with concrete recommendations for design and location.”

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.

Space for up to 200 people

According to the staff report, pop-up pools can accommodate up to 200 people, last five years, and cost more than $2 million.

Staff told the Board these pools are typically open from May to September and programmed for leisure swimming and introductory level lessons. Anticipated operating costs are up to $120,000 per year.

Swimming on the rise

Demand for swimming in Vancouver is on the rise due to changing demographic trends and new facilities in recent years. The on-going VanSplash aquatic strategy consultation 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.

Join the VanSplash conversation

The Park Board invites you to join the aquatic conversation. By completing a short survey over the next few weeks, you could win a three-month Flexipass and swim swag.

Learn more and take the survey

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. If you have questions, contact the aquatic strategy team at vansplash@vancouver.ca.