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Rendering of future NEFC park design

Park design in Northeast False Creek

The Vancouver Park Board, City of Vancouver, and landowner Concord Pacific are working together to create the Northeast False Creek Park, a space that is authentically Vancouver and that reflects our city’s rich heritage.

It’s a big plan that will revitalize Andy Livingstone Park, and expand and renew Creekside Park. It will also improve habitat for urban wildlife and the shoreline in False Creek. It will be a place to play, replenish, picnic, splash, and connect with others.

What's happening

We're now in Stage 4

We enhanced our park design guiding principles and confirmed them through a period of extended engagement. We're now developing two design approaches with James Corner Field Operations based on what we heard. 

Our revised principles reflect the time we took to engage deeper with local First Nations, area communities, and park stakeholders. Adding to the input gathered in 2016-2018 from local residents, event organizers, field sport users, and other park stakeholders, we also better understand the key interests from the Chinatown community and the black community, whose cultures are directly tied to this part of Vancouver.

We're taking the new design approaches back to Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh Nations, Chinatown, the black community, and park stakeholders to share our work in progress and gather input. These two design approaches will then be brought to the public through an open house before a preferred approach is refined through further development.

What we heard in Stage 3

We’ve been working closely with the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh Nations to understand Indigenous values and principles. Our goal is to reflect what we have heard from the local nations in the revised park design. Through this work, we’ve learned from the nations that Northeast False Creek Park is an opportunity to:

  • Make the cultures of three nations visible
  • Orient the park to the waterfront in a way that reflects the connection the First Nations have with the land and water
  • Create a welcoming place to gather, heal, and learn from Indigenous people
  • Include harvestable plants

Indigenous engagement summary report  (4.5 MB)

We’ve also heard from the Chinatown community. The key interests for the park that emerged as part of our early 2018 Chinatown event are as follows:

  • Strengthen the park’s physical connection to Chinatown
  • Enhance the park’s cultural context
  • Support the cultural life of Chinatown

January 2018 workshop summary report  (1.7 MB)

In July 2018 we met with the Chinatown community to listen further, and heard about the need for a flexible, multi-generational, and culturally supportive space. The July 2018 workshop summary report (329 KB) provides further information. 

In fall 2018, the Hogan’s Alley Society took initiative to involve the black community more directly in the planning of the park and hosted a workshop to discuss the experience of the black community in public space, cultural and physical safety, design, engagement, and inclusion.

We’ve heard from event producers that Northeast False Creek Park represents the last opportunity to host large events in downtown, while on the other hand, we heard from residents who are concerned that frequently hosting events would limit their daily use of the park. Lastly, the sports fields users wish that the renewed park maintain the two full-size sports fields and see opportunities for sport hosting, tying in with the new events and entertainment district.

In summer 2018, an online survey was created for public input on our revised principles. We found out that most people think we are going in the right direction, and heard that further refinement of the principles was needed. They continue to guide the direction of the revised concept design.

The online survey summary report (642.5 KB) includes the refined guiding principles. You may notice that we introduced a new category — identity. We think that the principle of Identity better captures the direction to create a place inspired by and supporting Indigenous cultural practices, and also of belonging for Vancouverites. The language and focus of other principles was also adjusted.

Information on what we heard through the entirety of engagement activities in 2018 and how we are beginning to respond through design is outlined in the engagement summary report (4.5 MB).

A welcoming and unique park

The City of Vancouver and the Park Board are committed to strengthening their relationships with local First Nations and Urban Indigenous people. Northeast False Creek Park is located within the traditional territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh Nations. It’s also next to downtown and near significant Urban Indigenous communities. We see the waterfront park as a unique opportunity to physically express reconciliation.

The park is intended to be a welcoming and inclusive space. The revised park design will be a contemporary park, inspired by Indigenous values we can all relate to, acknowledging the important role of the Chinatown and black communities in the area, and open to Vancouverites as an everyday place to replenish and connect with each other by the water.

How did we get here?

By City of Vancouver

The Indigenous Engagement Working Group guided our extended listening phase with the three nations and was led by the Park Board reconciliation planner. Our key takeaway from this stage was to become aware of and to deconstruct our inherited colonial thinking. This shift in perspective allowed space for local First Nations values to find expression, and to create a unique, world-class waterfront park that is rooted in a sense of place.

  • How did we get here?

    By City of Vancouver

    The Indigenous Engagement Working Group guided our extended listening phase with the three nations and was led by the Park Board reconciliation planner. Our key takeaway from this stage was to become aware of and to deconstruct our inherited colonial thinking. This shift in perspective allowed space for local First Nations values to find expression, and to create a unique, world-class waterfront park that is rooted in a sense of place.

  • Replenish park identity statement

    By City of Vancouver

    This goal of this statement (200 KB, PDF) is to ground the new vision of the park design in Indigenous values and principles. It reflects what we learned and anchors the design in a philosophy centered on connecting to the land and water. This foundation welcomes all cultural communities of Vancouver and envisions the park as a place where people can replenish.

  • Key themes we’ve heard from Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh

    By City of Vancouver

    The following themes emerged as part of our extended engagement: (1) Visibility of Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh; (2) Oriented to the waterfront; (3) A welcoming space; (4) A place to gather, heal, and learn from local First Nations (5) Indigenous approach to planting.

  • How did we engage with the Chinatown community?

    By City of Vancouver

    We’ve also engaged with a large group of people from Chinatown in January 2018. Over 100 people attended the workshop on the NEFC Area Plan to provide input.

  • Key themes we’ve heard from the Chinatown community

    By City of Vancouver

    We’ve gathered input on a variety of aspects: (1) Connectivity and accessibility; park design; (2) Architecture, design and heritage; (3) Design for all ages; and (4) Community and people. The key themes for the park design are: (1) Connect to the waterfront, (2) Compliment the surrounding cultural buildings and spaces, and (3) host traditional cultural activities in the park.

  • Paradigm shift

    By City of Vancouver

    We realized we had to seize the opportunity to design a remarkable and unique waterfront park, authentically Vancouver, reflective of this point in time, in the heart of Downtown. In the next stage, we will present a revised concept design, reflecting the new vision for the park, rooted in the local First Nations cultures, and welcoming for all Vancouverites.

  • Enriched park design principles

    By City of Vancouver

    The extended engagement showed us Indigenous values and principles that built on and enhanced those we’d already heard in our public engagement. We have woven in what we learned while preserving the engagement done to date with the park stakeholders. Through this reconciliation journey, we have realized that committing to reconciliation benefits all of us.

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Project timeline

Here is our process and anticipated milestones.

  • Fall 2016 to spring 2017

    Stage 1: Analysis and early directions

  • Spring 2017 to summer 2017

    Stage 2: Draft concept plan

  • Fall 2017 to winter 2018

    Stage 3: Extended engagement

     

  • We are here
  • Spring 2019 to 2020

    Stage 4: Revised concept plan and Park Board decision

Guiding principles

We’ve added and refined the park design guiding principles defined in the earlier stage of the project. They now reflect what we’ve heard as part of our extended engagement with the three nations, and park stakeholders, including Urban Indigenous people and the Chinatown community.