Here’s What Downtown Vancouver Could Look Like Without the Viaducts

The city is looking for your feedback on its plan to overhaul Northeast False Creek.

June 6, 2017

By Jessica Barrett / Photo: City of Vancouver

The city is moving one step closer to its massive planned overhaul of Northeast False Creek with the release of a concept plan that outlines what a future without the Georgia and Dunsmuir viaducts would look like. The project, led by landscape architect James Corner, whose firm Field Operations was behind New York City’s High Line park, will see the empty industrial lots along the waterfront transformed into a huge recreational area replete with “intertidal inlets and gravel beaches” that will allow access to the water. The plan will also see Chinatown and Gastown connected to the waterfront via the park network and a “graceful pedestrian bridge” that will span a revamped Pacific Boulevard, which will shoulder the rerouted traffic from downtown.


While opening up the last chunk of undeveloped downtown land to public green space makes a lot of sense on the surface, all this comes at a cost—$200 million to be exact— not to mention fears around traffic snarls caused by the removal of the viaducts (city staff assures this won’t be an issue) or the inevitable increase to land values making the surrounding area an even bigger target for developers and speculators. How that will all be resolved remains to be seen. At this point, the city is still asking for feedback. Find out more about how to get involved here, or by attending a consultation “block party” this Saturday, June 10, on Carrall Street between Keefer and Expo Boulevard.


Removal of the viaducts could happen as soon as 2018, making room for Northeast False Creek Park to become “a waterfront destination filled with people, activity and nature,” according to a city press release, and an important connector between the surrounding neighbourhoods.


Taking a cue from the NYC’s High Line, the design also includes an elevated park in place of the Dunsmuir viaduct.


Elevated platforms throughout the park promise “spectacular views” of False Creek, the mountains and the surrounding skyline.

What do you think of the proposed design? Let us know in the comments below!

 

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