Vancouver Aquatic Strategy

  • Location

    Vancouver, BC

Vancouver’s pools and beaches are more popular than ever -  supporting personal and communal well-being and enhancing social inclusion. Recognizing their positive influence in the community and the need for additional services to support the city’s growing population, the Vancouver Park Board launched a 10-year aquatics strategy to chart a course for the future of aquatics in the city.

Design Challenge

HCMA was asked to develop a forward-thinking 10 year implementation strategy for Vancouver’s popular aquatic services, starting with a review of the condition and effectiveness of exiting aquatic services facilities and delivery modes, and to develop a knowledge of future growth and anticipated demographic and aquatic trends over the next 25 years.

Effective public engagement goes beyond informing citizens about new initiatives happening in their city. We created VanSplash, a vibrant identity and approach that enabled us to successfully engage the community, receiving over 4,500 survey responses, the highest response the city has ever received. By hosting open houses and other events at local pools and beaches we engaged those most affected and gathered input from relevant stakeholders.

HCMA Response

Our engagement process consisted of pop-up booths at public events, open houses and an online survey that received an unprecedented response. We explored innovative options like a pop-up pool, natural outdoor pools, and ocean-based swimming as well as looking at renewing the City’s aging facilities.

The feedback we gathered was analyzed and used to produce a comprehensive, branded final report that simplified and prioritized the recommendations for the future of Vancouver’s pools and beaches.

The VanSplash identity will continue to be used during phase 2 – a draft of recommendations and phase 3 – a refined plan based on community and stakeholder feedback.

Design Process