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Spring semester’s ‘Access to Nature’ benefits Grandview Woodlands neighbourhood
Vancouver - May 3, 2012 - The City of Vancouver and the Vancouver Economic Commission (VEC) announced today that students from CityStudio have undertaken work on an innovative project - The Orphaned Spaces Project - that will greatly enhance the city’s neighbourhoods.
The primary goal of Vancouver’s Orphaned Spaces Project is to provide increased access to nature by manifesting the potential of an otherwise underutilized piece of City property. CityStudio students, Victoria Veidner, Martyna Purchla, Becky Till and Jaclyn Bruneau spent their spring semester mapping the entire Grandview Woodlands neighbourhood. “When Deputy City Manager, Sadhu Johnston, introduced us to the concept of taking an orphaned space and turning it into something more vibrant; that was our point of inspiration,” said SFU student, Becky Till. “We catalogued various orphaned spaces and then began asking people in the community what they would like to see.”
The community conversations led the group to choose the orphaned space on Commercial Drive at Adanac Street. Working with City Engineering staff and the Parks Board, the students designed a steel frame installation, which offers a picture-perfect view of the North Shore Mountains. Over the summer, the space will evolve with the addition of a park bench, plants and shrubbery. “It was a fun and out-of-the-ordinary project for the Engineering Department to work on and it’s really created a focal point for the neighbourhood,” said Assistant City Engineer, Neal Carley.
CityStudio Vancouver is a unique partnership between the City and six post-secondary schools; UBC, Simon Fraser University, Emily Carr University, BCIT, Langara and Vancouver Community College. The Campus-City Collaborative (C3) was established to develop projects and research related to urban sustainability. CityStudio directly involves students in designing solutions for Vancouver’s Greenest City 2020 goals. “Connecting students with City staff to work on real projects is exactly what we hoped the Campus-City Collaborative would do,” said Lee Malleau, CEO of VEC. “This is a significant catalyst that will help grow the green economy by retaining, retraining and attracting top talent – a major objective in Vancouver’s Economic Action Strategy.”
Students at CityStudio have completed projects on local food, green economy, and community dialogue and engagement. The spring program focused on the goal of Access to Nature, with students from interdisciplinary areas represented by all post-secondary institutions: geography, health science, engineering, planning, social sciences, arts, business, food systems and design.