The BIABC + IDA Pacific Northwest Regional Conference was held in Kelowna in April. The theme of the conference was innovate & inspire and our DVBIA Placemaking Lead, Tara Gloster, attended to share our innovative and inspiring laneway learning guide based on our recent More Awesome Now laneway project.

There was a lot to take away from the various sessions at the conference, which covered issues such as bike culture and bike sharing, as well as walkability and how people interact with the public realm. Other topics that were addressed included densification, retail strategies, safety and health issues in the changing climate and the key to successful partnerships, among others. The main takeaway was that incredibly successful, impactful and large scale initiatives can be achieved when everyone works together, including city departments, BIAs, businesses and the community. This isn’t brand new information, but it was reinforced in a meaningful way, and some successful partnership projects were highlighted to inspire attendees.

Tara’s session— titled “Revitalizing Laneways: A toolkit for transforming public spaces”— was a full house with lots of engaging conversations and questions from those who attended. Some people in the room had done similar projects and wanted to learn how to build on these, while others hadn’t yet completed revitalization projects of this nature but were keen to learn how to implement something similar in their own area.

Those who attended Tara’s session took away not only the physical laneway learning guide but also some creative inspiration and the tools and knowledge to revitalize innovative laneways in their city. Making the network of activated laneways worldwide – that is the dream.

If you would like a digital copy of the learning guide please visit our website downtownvancouver.net/files/laneway. If you have any queries regarding the toolkit, you may contact Tara via tara@downtownvancouver.net.