Vancouver Public Space Network, Vancouver, Canada

Championing the importance of public space to the overall livability of the city


With more than ten years of experience, Vancouver Public Space Network (VPSN) is a non-profit organization that promotes community-oriented urban design and public dialogue on important civic issues. The organization believes that public space has an essential role in the urban environment to improve the livability of the city. VPSN is involved in projects, events, research and analysis and communication, working with a wide array of public spaces and the roles, issues and opportunities that shape them.


Created by a team of 10 people, VPSN has today 2,000 to 3,000 members and supporters – including planners, architects, designers, artists, activists, flaneurs, scholars, students, urban enthusiasts and a wide spectrum of people in between.

VPSN has worked on a very large spectrum of initiatives, including:

  • from very small urban interventions (creating a garden in an intersection) to participation in major international design competitions for public space
  • research projects (mapping of public space features, sites analysis…)
  • workshops, assessments of safe spaces and policing activities in the city 

Did you know?

One of the creative projects VPSN organizes is The Active Fiction Project that creates short, fictional stories set in a Vancouver neighborhood that features the reader as the protagonist. These self-guided stories are ‘hidden’ in public spaces for readers to discover by walking or biking, through the same neighborhood in which the story unfolds.

Sustainability and Replicability

VPSN is an all-volunteer initiative that is always looking to connect with like-minded individuals and groups.

Their members come from a wide range of activities (students, architects, urban designers, urbanists, artist) with a wide range of different interests in the public space topic.

The relations with the city government are very good so they’re able to bring together different players around very different issues. All you need to replicate this initiative is a bunch of creative and engaged citizens wanting to improve public space in a fun way.

Lessons learned

In any city there are public space issues that can be addressed. There are always opportunities for people to advocate and improve common spaces, and citizens are eager to be involved.

Take action

Vancouver Public Space Network

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