Spaces that are well maintained and look positive not only raise property values and lower vacancy rates but they also make people smile as they walk by and want to stop and spend time in the area. It makes the statement that someone cares for this space, they are taking care of it and there is a sense of pride and ownership. The DVBIA shows they care by making downtown more beautiful with the following initiatives:
We are striving to make downtown Vancouver a 24/7 city with people socializing, relaxing and commuting throughout downtown both during the day and at night and in the rain as well as the sun. Lighting installations make being outside so much more appealing and safe during those late nights and grey, rainy skies therefore we have installed year-round lighting installations in Lot 19 as well as seasonal lighting down West Hastings Street and Alberni Street.
Hanging Flower Baskets
The DVBIA installs hanging flower baskets on the street poles down West Hastings Street from Richards to Bute Street each summer. This adds some dimension and colour to the street during the summer season. Greenery and green spaces improve people’s mental wellbeing and improves concentration and positivity which is important in downtown Vancouver where there is usually limited green space.
Wrap: A Student/Community Project
Sometimes beatification is about adding something great and sometimes it is about covering something not so great. The wrap project is the latter. The DVBIA have partnered with university and arts organizations as well as the City of Vancouver to cover what once was grey, boring, graffiti covered electrical boxes with vibrant, artistic designs.
Mosaic Art Tiles
Measuring nine square feet, each mosaic features a common border anchored with images of Vancouver’s natural environment. The mosaics are done by artists Liz Calvin and Bruce Walther. Each mosaic has a circular centre with a different abstract design reflecting a dynamic theme that captures the essence of downtown from both historical and contemporary perspectives. They contain between 3,500 to 4,500 hand cut ceramic pieces in a kaleidoscope of colours and takes approximately 160 hours to create. There are 22 tiles scattered across the downtown.
Little Free Library
The Little Free Library program is an international non-profit with the goals of inspiring a love for reading, building community, and sparking creativity, which is already happening in our downtown core. Thanks to the help of SFU Contemporary Art students, eleven newspaper boxes that were headed to the scrap yard were redesigned with unique images that depict a love of reading in Vancouver. Carrying on with the sustainability theme, these “libraries” are a book exchange for lightly used books -with the policy of “Take a Book, Leave a Book”. With a constant turnaround of used books in the Library, there should be a book for everyone!
The DVBIA has branded street banners for West Hastings, Granville and Alberni Street. These banners have three different designs that reflect the streets character and identity. Adding colour and intrigue to the street the banners also assist the brand identity for the street and its businesses.