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A new Playbook: Park Board launches VanPlay to imagine the future of parks and recreation

May 12 2017

“It is time for us to listen to the public to identify opportunities to make changes to our current parks and recreations system as the needs of Vancouverites continue to evolve,” says Park Board Chair Michael Wiebe

VanPlay logo

The Vancouver Park Board today launched VanPlay, a year-long public conversation on the future of the city's parks and recreation services.

The resulting master plan, Vancouver’s Playbook, will be a citywide vision for 240 public parks and 55 recreation facilities.

Get involved

The public can get involved in the VanPlay conversation in a number of ways:

  • Take the survey
  • Join us at a VanPlay Tour stop near you
  • Join the social conversation using #VanPlay, get inspired, invite family, friends, and colleagues to events, and tell us how you play! 

VanPlay: a plan for the future of our parks and recreation

VanPlay tour stops

The year-long public conversation begins tomorrow with VanPlay’s first stop in David Lam Park, where kids of all ages can try out the pop-up mobile Imagination Playground.

VanPlay will travel to citywide events and celebrations over the coming months as staff seek input from residents, stakeholders, and community organizations. 

The pop-up playground will become a legacy for the public when the consultation ends.

Anticipating future trends

The Park Board last updated its parks and recreation master plan in 1992. Vancouver has changed dramatically since then. The Park Board has made impressive strides in building parks and recreation services, but must anticipate future trends and community needs.

“It’s time for us to listen to the public to identify opportunities as the needs of Vancouverites continue to evolve,” says Park Board Chair Michael Wiebe.

“Increased density means that parks and community centres play a more integral role in keeping residents healthy and connected. The 25-year master plan will look at new trends such as pickle ball for seniors, stand-up paddle boarding, and parks as outdoor fitness centres. We look forward to hearing from the community.”

Unparalleled access to parks

Vancouver’s unparalleled access to parks, nature, and recreation facilities means residents are some of the healthiest and active in Canada.

Almost 100% of residents live within a 10-minute walk to green space. More than 70% define themselves as active, 20% higher than the rest of the country.

Despite these achievements, VanPlay is launching now because we face significant challenges.

Future challenges

Vancouver is the one of the most densely populated cities in North America with more than 630,000 people living in 114.97 km2. Over the next 25 years, demographers estimate the population will increase by 150,000 people.

Continued population growth and rising land costs put pressure on the quantity and quality of available parks and recreation spaces.

Thoughtful and prudent planning is needed to ensure we are prepared to meet the challenges of the future.

VanPlay timeline

During the first phase of the VanPlay consultation, the Park Board will listen and gather input on priorities, trends, and barriers to access.

Future phases will focus on the dense urban core and citywide trends, as well as emerging growth areas such as the Cambie Corridor.

The final master plan document with recommendations and next steps will go to the elected Park Board for feedback, discussion, and potential approval in mid-2018.