Community

Vancouver 'Street Eats' Program Shows Community Spirit

Written October 27, 2020 by LSW Admin

It was an honor to work on the design and construction of one of downtown Vancouver’s first parklets located in front of Mighty Bowl. 

Our video of the design process was selected as a finalist at the 2020 AIA Film Challenge, and our hope is that it serves as a reminder to keep momentum going as we enter the colder season. There is still a long road back from the pandemic and much to be done, but efforts like this gave us all something concrete to do at a moment when we were all needed to act. 

A huge thank you to all of our community partners who helped make this happen, including Riff_, Vancouver’s Downtown Association, Seanette Corkill, Catworks Construction, and Gro Outdoor Living


For anyone new to the parklets, here is the backstory. 

Under the Governor’s guidelines for businesses in Phase 2, restaurants could open at 50% occupancy. These Safe Start guidelines gave local businesses a helpful playbook to open their doors but would still be difficult for many to stay afloat in the long run. 

Quickly, a group of volunteers from the public, private, and nonprofit sector came together to find a solution. This was the beginning of “Street Eats”, a sidewalk parklet program created to help restaurants increase seating capacity as they reopened under the Governor's Phase 2 Safe Start guidelines. 

In little over 2 weeks, the city’s first parklets were designed, prototyped, tested, built, and installed. Typically, an effort like this would take months to get off the ground. With the support of the City, the pilot program was launched to great success- and continues to be a safe, fun, and hopeful symbol of the way people in Vancouver care about one another. 

For more information about the new Street Eats Sidewalk Café Permit program and the application process, please visit cityofvancouver.us.