UBC Graduate Research

Quebec Street Public Realm Improvement Project Meese, Carl


This professional project provides city planners with strategies for how to improve the public realm of city streets. Specifically, this research explores the public realm of Quebec Street in Vancouver, British Columbia. This project introduces the topic of great streets, examines why Quebec Street is not a great street and recommends ways to transform the public realm into a great street. First, this project reports on the successes and failures of three examples of streetcar projects from around the world to show how other cities are designing their transportation systems and public spaces. By analyzing projects in Toronto, Portland, and Seattle this project summarizes a set of key findings to be applied to the design of Quebec Street. Some of these findings include: Exclusive streetcar right-of-ways provide greater streetcar efficiency, this helps reduce car dependency and makes transit more competitive. Transit improvements provide a greater opportunity for wider public realm improvements along the corridor. Transit shelters should be designed with adequate space and amenities to maximize comfort and safety for all users. The site analysis examines in detail the specific context of the Quebec Street site, specifically identifying the strengths, opportunities, weaknesses, and constraints. This project presents many different layers of information, which are synthesized into a summary of the main opportunities and constraints for the successful design of Quebec Street. A few opportunities and constraints are to: Create False Creek Ring Road Connecting Pacific to 2nd Ave. Expand False Creek Open Space Network Increase Transit Connections Extend Existing Streetcar Network Create Place: Address Lack of Character and Identity Minimize Site Isolation With a set of design principles in mind the project recommends eight specific design goals with two or three supporting design strategies to improve the public realm along Quebec Street. The design strategies are illustrated with supporting images, maps and drawings to further describe the intended outcome of the proposed design interventions. The design goals are: Generate a Strong Sense of Place and Identity Based on a Unified Image of False Creek Encompass False Creek with a Grand Tree Lined Boulevard Modernize and Extend the Existing Streetcar System Create a Public Transit Zone Linking All Systems Strengthen and Expand Street Network Reduce Visual and Physical Impact of Overpasses Extend Creekside Park to Quebec Street Develop an Integrated System of False Creek Oriented Open Spaces The project concludes with a brief summary of the findings and design proposal as well as further details on some of the possible options for continuing this work. Including the potential for the City of Vancouver to use this document as the first phase a larger public process.

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