Vancouver Would Be Cooler If It Had Peace & Quiet Ratings For Public Spaces


The point of VWBCI is to open local minds to outside practices, concepts, and ideas that might stand to improve our greater civic situation in a parallel universe where coolness was valued more than practicality and funds spent on public works of art were raised by way of a special NIMBY tax levied against serial complainers.


by Andrew Morrison | It’s a tricky business finding beautiful places to be alone in this city, especially in good weather. Maybe you want to read a book undisturbed or stare up at the clouds in peace. Chances are your quest for solitude will be thwarted by a drum circle or a brigade of frisbee enthusiasts. An such is life in the city. Still, if there was a graded list of reliably empty (or less travelled) Vancouver spaces – be they forest clearings, strips of sand, meadows or fields – I suspect it would be hugely appreciated and referred to often. Since the City and the Parks Board serves and facilitates those who enjoy the company of others, it would only be fair of them to also consider those who’d love the occasional escape. To compliment this catalogue of quietude, they could also put up companion signage rating each public space on the relative solitude it offered. We all know how good they are at signs! A good starting point would the example pictured above. It’s an interventionist work by artist Michael Pederson. (You may not seek out a “4” or “5” rated park every time – and sometimes you might even be in the mood for “Heavy Crowds” – but having foreknowledge of such things would be great.)

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