Public Space for Public Good: Making Privately Owned Public Spaces in Vancouver More Inclusive and Supportive
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This thesis examines the influence and effects of privatisation to support arguments for improved policy regarding Privately Owned Public Space (POPS). In Vancouver, BC city agencies negotiate POPS and other contributions from developers in exchange for density allowances. This private-public partnership is used to strengthen the public realm without substantial cost, however the current policy has resulted in POPS that are exclusionary, underutilized, and are under surveillance. This thesis takes a planning approach to addresses these issues by providing updated policies and guidelines that work for the public interest. These updated documents prioritize amenity in public space and add requirements involving needs assessment exercises, diverse programming, and shared management structures. These documents act as the framework to redesign an existing POPS in downtown Vancouver. The resulting design features civic amenity and supportive spaces within a large plaza that is welcoming for all, and empowers the diverse citizens of the city.