As part of the Re-Imagine Downtown Vancouver initiative, we interviewed a cross-section of people who share a passion for our city’s downtown to feature in our inspiration video.
Reviewing the interview transcripts, we realized that we had recorded a lot of great ideas and stories that didn’t make it into the final cut of the video. To ensure that these ideas and stories didn’t get lost, we will be sharing them with you in a series of posts.
Here is our interview with Gary Pooni, an urban planner and the president of Brook Pooni Associates.
What does downtown Vancouver mean to you?
I love downtown Vancouver. As an urban planner who has been to many other downtowns across North America, I am amazed every time I come back home. Downtown Vancouver has been celebrated across North America and worldwide, and others try to emulate downtown Vancouver.
Downtown Vancouver is THE best urban environment that I have ever visited.
Downtown Vancouver is THE best urban environment that I have ever visited. You can’t think of any other place in North America or even around the world that has a downtown that is nestled in mountains, beside an ocean, has a dense population, and has a highly pedestrian friendly urban environment. So downtown to me is and always has been one the most special urban environments.
How do you think the downtown Vancouver experience should look, taste and feel in the future?
Downtown has been highly successful over the last 20 years. The strength of downtown goes beyond just the buildings and architecture. It comes from the people who live here, work here, shop here, and we need to maintain that highly successful urban environment for them. So for me Vancouver is going to capitalize on all these opportunities.
The strength of downtown goes beyond just the buildings and architecture. It comes from the people who live here, work here, shop here…
It should build on the successes it has had over the last 20 years into the next 20 years. There should be great shopping streets, amazing work environments, equal opportunity to either cars, cyclists or pedestrians. I see more people living and working downtown; this is a place where people in the region want to be. We should be inviting more people to live here.