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 Paola Qualizza, Chair of the Vancouver Public Space Network (VPSN) and co-creator of Groundswell Grassroots Economic Alternatives.
What does downtown Vancouver mean to you?
Downtown Vancouver is the beating heart of the city. It means a place where everything is happening and everyone can come and find something to do. Something that fits every interest, activity, age and income level. A space that makes Vancouver the metropolitan city it aspires to be or is.
What excites you about the future of Downtown Vancouver?
What excites me are the opportunities that we already have. I think we have so many public spaces just waiting to be activated. There are so many opportunities to use the spaces we have in better ways. Places that are not well used and can be used better—activated more frequently—with more fun activities for a greater diversity of people. Open up the doors for citizens, the public and tourists to make those activations themselves. To make it easier for people jump into their own city and make the things they want to see happen, happen.
How do you think the Downtown Vancouver experience should look, taste and feel in the future?
I think downtown Vancouver has the potential to be a totally open and inclusive space where everyone can find something to do. A place that encompasses all different scales of business, market, exchange and fun activities for all sorts of people. The future of downtown Vancouver is a 24 hour city where at anytime or place anyone can find something that excites them.