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Canadian Urbanism Uncovered

Video Vancouver: Granville Island

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Video Vancouver

Evoke DIALOG | Granville Island | Vancouver, BC from DIALOG on Vimeo.

Via Dialog Design:

Heralded by planners, politicians and in publications worldwide as one of the most important urban precedents of our time, Granville Island is one of DIALOG’s trademark works. The original design and master plan for the redevelopment of the 14.2-hectare site, prepared between 1977 and 1979, took the formerly dilapidated industrial site and transformed it into a vibrant and livable community. This mixed-use environment, based on the adaptive re-use of early 20th-century industrial warehouses, has become a cultural legacy for the citizens of Vancouver. As a social focus, the Island lives up to the original mandate of creating a “people place” in the city. Granville Island was named “Best Neighbourhood in North America” by the New York-based non-profit organization Project for Public Spaces.

As Coordinating Architect to the Government of Canada, DIALOG’s Norm Hotson and Joost Bakker have been responsible for the Island’s Master Plan; the design of all streetworks, waterfront shoreline edges and open spaces; an addition to the Granville Island Hotel; the Granville Island Brewery; the Public Market; several artist’s studios and workshops; traffic and parking design; children’s play features and water park, and the review and coordination of building designs done by others.

In 2008, the firm prepared an updated Urban Design Plan for the next 20 years of development on Granville Island. The objective of the work was to find areas where revenues could be augmented to offset rising operating costs. This plan set out land uses, floor areas, and specific development concepts and financial analysis for the remaining undeveloped sites in the project.

One of the noteworthy aspects of the Island’s design is found in its streets. Here, people walk, bike, drive and deliver goods in a common space, without curbs, gutters and sidewalks. This multi-modal street concept is recognized as being enormously successful and is being emulated in projects around the world.