During our engagement activities in 2015, the Re-Imagine Downtown Vancouver team asked a diverse group of people to provide ideas on how they wanted downtown Vancouver to evolve over the next twenty-five years. We received suggestions from over 1,000 individuals.
This is how they imagine the businesses of downtown Vancouver in 2040:
- Downtown Vancouver has become an international business nexus, attracting several multinational headquarters with its unique location (equi-distant from Europe and Asia), multicultural population, and variety of urban and natural amenities.
- There are streamlined rules and regulations for local businesses, resulting in an increase in the number of unique and interesting businesses and entertainment options in the downtown.
- Downtown Vancouver is home to a variety of mixed-use high-rise buildings combing a wide variety of functions and features, including pop-up storefronts, co-working spaces, schools, community centres and shared meeting spaces.
- Downtown Vancouver is an incubator for local businesses and social entrepreneurs and features an array of unique, community-oriented shops and services. It offers 24 hour coworking spaces for social entrepreneurs, including open spaces for innovators to collaborate and sliding rental rates to allow new businesses to grow.
- In partnership with local university and college campuses, downtown Vancouver is a green collar jobs hub, with training and education programs preparing the local workforce for jobs in sustainability, urban agriculture and eco-tech.
- Vancouver has become a true 24/7 city with world class art, sporting spectacles and performance arts at the heart of the city. Many businesses, restaurants, stores and services are open all day, every day, catering to a variety of knowledge workers and multinational businesses and clients.
- All employees of downtown Vancouver are provided a living wage. This has increased the diversity of the workforce and residential population.
- Relaxed liquor regulations have animated downtown Vancouver’s sidewalks and public plazas, encouraging increased public interaction and friendliness. The new laws have resulted in a renaissance of unique restaurants, cafés, and microbreweries.
- Downtown Vancouver is powered by 100% renewable energy, with the majority of it generated on site through innovative district energy systems and recycling networks.
- Downtown Vancouver welcomes more food truck squares that have transformed formerly food-barren areas. These food truck squares have animated under-utilized public spaces into gathering places and provide an innovative way to offer diverse food choices while also adding another level of engagement to city life.
- Downtown Vancouver is home to a public or hawkers market that rivals Granville Island, providing opportunities for small businesses, local artisans and producers, while encouraging the relaxing, patio sitting and people watching that everyone enjoys.
- The sharing economy is embraced by the business community through initiatives like shared delivery services, corporate resource hubs and pooled services.
In 2040 people will work in ever-expanding new ways, building on symbiotic partnerships in business and commerce at all levels, from multinational enterprises to hyper-local businesses
The ideas generated through Re-Imagine Downtown Vancouver reflect a desire for an innovative and holistic approach to the evolution of downtown Vancouver. We don’t own these ideas; they belong to the people that dreamed them.
Achieving this collective vision will require a collaborative approach between the Downtown Vancouver BIA, its members, the City of Vancouver, and other partner organizations. It will need visionary leaders within our community to steer the development of ideas that resonate for them. We look forward to working together to embrace this vision and make the ideas listed in this report a reality. Because, if we don’t determine how downtown Vancouver grows up, others will determine it for us.