‘We are doing everything we can to move forward,’ says city planner
Construction may have only just begun last Friday, May 13, 2016, but the new Jim Deva Plaza should be complete and ready for this year’s Pride celebrations in late July.
“We’re going to be going non-stop to meet that Pride deadline,” says Karen Hoese, Vancouver’s acting assistant director of planning for downtown.
“We are doing everything we can to move forward,” she says.
“We intend to be complete before the Pride week, but it’s probably going to take us most of the time to get there.”
The plaza will not only commemorate Deva (a beloved community leader who died suddenly in September 2014), but celebrate Vancouver’s LGBT community and create a programmed, public, pedestrian-only gathering space with seating and an overhead “ceiling of lights” in the heart of the Davie Village.
A lighting installation planned above the rainbow crosswalk intersection at Davie and Bute Streets also remains part of the plaza design, but Hoese says some repairs and adjustments to the existing infrastructure are needed before construction can begin.
One of the main planning debates concerns how the plaza will be managed. After the pilot project, which ran from July 2013 to September 2014, it became clear that issues such as cleanliness and loitering would need to be addressed.