Coal Harbour, Vancouver

How can we engage our waterfront?

What is this?

What is this?

We want to look at spaces, places, architecture and design with fresh eyes – yours.

An essential question around the HCMA studios is: "What's Possible?" For a street? A community plan? A pool? A school? A...home page?

We post images and questions that relate to discussions around the studio. If you see something that sparks your curiosity, tell us what you think. You can check out other people's contributions too by viewing all responses.

A single comment, a debate or a consensus could cause a shift, that shifts everything.

Welcome to the conversation.

Where is this?
All Responses
  1. How can we engage our waterfront?
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    dogs
  2. How can we engage our waterfront?
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    Have areas that are friendlier for general usage. There is a very strong rip tide that would make swimming a risk unless partially contained or blocked. The current waterfront in occupied by the pontoon plane docks, and an enclosed waterfront wall that has no access to the water proper. A significant obstacle of perception about water cleanliness is also an issue. With all the tanker traffic, the above noted usages, the large cruise ships, and the piles of sulfur, coal, and potash on the docks across the bay are significant questionable sources of water pollution. If this could be mitigated, or proven to not be a problem it would be cool to actually access a beach area, or dock like in the image.
  3. How can we engage our waterfront?
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    More interactive green roofs
  4. How can we engage our waterfront?
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    Walk it, stroll it, jog it, ride it, roll it, see it, sit by it
  5. How can we engage our waterfront?
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    Clean up the water.
  6. How can we engage our waterfront?
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    Live on it. Don't just overlook it but engage it. Line it with a mix of uses waterside. Provide uses ON the water-- housing, restaurants, local water-based transportation, entertainment venues, such as floating barges with stages on them, floating active parks.
  7. How can we engage our waterfront?
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    Beaches, boardwalks, viewing spots (of the waterfront or from it), shopping, eating, drinking coffee, partying. The waterfront has the ability to augment any spacial experience if designed correctly.
  8. How can we engage our waterfront?
    0Like
    music, art activities, trivia and other games
  9. How can we engage our waterfront?
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    rock climbing
  10. How can we engage our waterfront?
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    by seeing what is below water
  11. How can we engage our waterfront?
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    play
  12. How can we engage our waterfront?
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    more free activities!
  13. How can we engage our waterfront?
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    more green space, more rec facilities
  14. How can we engage our waterfront?
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    More public, less private
  15. How can we engage our waterfront?
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    like Copenhagen ;)
  16. How can we engage our waterfront?
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    watersports
  17. How can we engage our waterfront?
    4Like
    Rain-friendly public spaces so everyone can enjoy this amenity year round, whatever the weather. Vancouverites disappear when it rains.
  18. How can we engage our waterfront?
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    a swiming experience like the one above!! that would be so sick!
  19. How can we engage our waterfront?
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    coal harbour
  20. How can we engage our waterfront?
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    Patios
  21. How can we engage our waterfront?
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    fish
  22. How can we engage our waterfront?
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    Should be integrated thinking, primarily in the nature around. The project should be itinerant and not fixed. Like an organism or a boat. One day, it can be on place A, another day, Place B. Ocean is a frontier that human nature should preserve and protect and the projects needs to be adaptable for different conditions. It's an abstract idea and I believe is the best to engage the waterfront.
  23. How can we engage our waterfront?
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    rental gear
  24. How can we engage our waterfront?
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    ...with an Ideas Competition hosted by local Designers and not the City of Vancouver Planning Dept!
  25. How can we engage our waterfront?
    1Like
    Make the beaches pet friendly or more designated pet areas
  26. How can we engage our waterfront?
    1Like
    create an artificial wave park in false creek, please?
  27. How can we engage our waterfront?
    2Like
    Increase safe public water access for recreation
  28. How can we engage our waterfront?
    1Like
    blend the harsh line of the seawall walkway and the water below.
  29. How can we engage our waterfront?
    1Like
    waterslides
  30. How can we engage our waterfront?
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    no e-coli!
  31. How can we engage our waterfront?
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    lemmings jump
  32. How can we engage our waterfront?
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    activities, community
  33. How can we engage our waterfront?
    0Like
    By inserting a level of elasticity into our designs that better acknowledge public participation (and it's varied scales) as the critical mass of place making initiatives. p.s. - I think this applies to all of our public social infrastructure.
  34. How can we engage our waterfront?
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    More communal activities to encourage gathering
  35. How can we engage our waterfront?
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    a place for spiritual, emotional, and physical renewal
  36. How can we engage our waterfront?
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    public seating
  37. How can we engage our waterfront?
    2Like
    make it pet friendly
  38. How can we engage our waterfront?
    1Like
    play, equality, creativity, adaptability
  39. How can we engage our waterfront?
    1Like
    interactive waterpark facilities/obstacle courses to allow people to interact with one another.
  40. How can we engage our waterfront?
    1Like
    Outdoor integrative rest and play spaces. Focus on walkability/wheelability along with architecture that reflects the west coast.
  41. How can we engage our waterfront?
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    arena
  42. How can we engage our waterfront?
    1Like
    Create activities and artistic structures that are highly involving, appealing, and fun for all age groups.
  43. How can we engage our waterfront?
    2Like
    easy access for all
  44. How can we engage our waterfront?
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    make it fun and accessible to all ages
  45. How can we engage our waterfront?
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    less damn guards! let the kids swim
  46. How can we engage our waterfront?
    1Like
    sea bath
  47. How can we engage our waterfront?
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    More water
  48. How can we engage our waterfront?
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    kayaks
  49. How can we engage our waterfront?
    0Like
    waterfront for winters.....take this a a cue to build up whatever it is (summers are always catered to but winters can be just morbid!). Also, Copenhagen could be a good precedent to study.
  50. How can we engage our waterfront?
    1Like
    kid friendly pool toys
  51. How can we engage our waterfront?
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    underwater tunnels!
  52. How can we engage our waterfront?
    1Like
    recreation
  53. How can we engage our waterfront?
    1Like
    shops and cafes by the water
  54. How can we engage our waterfront?
    3Like
    more picnic tables, communal seating areas, places for families and friends to gather. Graffiti mural walls such as in Bondi Beach, Syndey, AUS.
  55. How can we engage our waterfront?
    2Like
    I'd like warm water
  56. How can we engage our waterfront?
    1Like
    Having more access points
  57. How can we engage our waterfront?
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    picnic
  58. How can we engage our waterfront?
    1Like
    water sports
  59. How can we engage our waterfront?
    1Like
    Look at how Copenhagen has managed their harbour.
  60. How can we engage our waterfront?
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    alley
  61. How can we engage our waterfront?
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    Clean the water first
  62. How can we engage our waterfront?
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    architecture
  63. How can we engage our waterfront?
    2Like
    more public space, less high end luxury buildings
  64. How can we engage our waterfront?
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    more waterslides!
  65. How can we engage our waterfront?
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    surf
  66. How can we engage our waterfront?
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    sharks with laserbeams on their heads
  67. How can we engage our waterfront?
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    Super cool diving boards
  68. How can we engage our waterfront?
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    some part leaves it natural, like Spanish bank or Jerico. some part like Stanley park... swimming pool with ocean filter a great idea - 2nd beach. platforms extending into the water, with Yoya platforms, lookout points, maybe small ferry going around... or take you to West Vancouver. I always liked that idea of having a ferry going in between UBC and Amble side. Or between Amble side to Kits Point, where the future Broadway/Arbutus stop is going to be... (a small ride up & down like a Tram from Broadway to Kits beach (the hill view would be great) will be so much fun, foot traffic end localized transportation.
  69. How can we engage our waterfront?
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    get people to pick up trash while they're walking a'bout !
  70. How can we engage our waterfront?
    1Like
    With a functional website
  71. How can we engage our waterfront?
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    surfing
  72. How can we engage our waterfront?
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    Beach, playgrounds, food trucks or shacks. And piers! Why doesn't this city have any piers?
  73. How can we engage our waterfront?
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    blah
  74. How can we engage our waterfront?
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    swimming
  75. How can we engage our waterfront?
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    protect shoreline
  76. How can we engage our waterfront?
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    I love Vancouver
  77. How can we engage our waterfront?
    1Like
    dock
  78. How can we engage our waterfront?
    2Like
    Make False Creek swimable
  79. How can we engage our waterfront?
    2Like
    find a way to dro the sludge and faecal matter to make the water swimmable.
  80. How can we engage our waterfront?
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    public dancing
  81. How can we engage our waterfront?
    2Like
    Disappearing/reappearing structures, affected by changing tides
  82. How can we engage our waterfront?
    2Like
    clean water and healthy aquatic ecosystems
  83. How can we engage our waterfront?
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    more food business
  84. How can we engage our waterfront?
    2Like
    Ban bunker oil burning container ships
  85. How can we engage our waterfront?
    2Like
    make it public
  86. How can we engage our waterfront?
    2Like
    music
  87. How can we engage our waterfront?
    1Like
    not like this
  88. How can we engage our waterfront?
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    swimming races
  89. How can we engage our waterfront?
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    Swimming space - easy access to swimming
  90. How can we engage our waterfront?
    1Like
    rentable boats! Canoes etc
  91. How can we engage our waterfront?
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    people
  92. How can we engage our waterfront?
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    Having it accessible to everyone with friendly urban design
  93. How can we engage our waterfront?
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    By eventually reclaiming portuary installations, as was done in Hamburg, Bordeaux, Montréal.
  94. How can we engage our waterfront?
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    Build underwater public spaces and ...
  95. How can we engage our waterfront?
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    a place to be able to dip your toes in without fear of falling in
  96. How can we engage our waterfront?
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    add some extensions into the sea, where people can sit surrounded by the water. Some can be glazed for the winter so as to allow for their use even in the rain. I'm thinking little glass cubicles with seating areas and happy colors :)
  97. How can we engage our waterfront?
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    interactive design
  98. How can we engage our waterfront?
    1Like
    boats
  99. How can we engage our waterfront?
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    1"'`--
  100. How can we engage our waterfront?
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    create a pool within water, as seen here in Paris https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2017/jul/22/paris-queues-clean-canal-swimmers-villette-seine
  101. How can we engage our waterfront?
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    beach
  102. How can we engage our waterfront?
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    fun
  103. How can we engage our waterfront?
    1Like
    dip our toes
  104. How can we engage our waterfront?
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    Water pedal bikes!
  105. How can we engage our waterfront?
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    More Pleasant Promenades
  106. How can we engage our waterfront?
    0Like
    add small business
  107. How can we engage our waterfront?
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    banana boats, and water tours
  108. How can we engage our waterfront?
    1Like
    we could put a big trampoline with a waterslide
  109. How can we engage our waterfront?
    1Like
    create bath/shower facilities for the homeless.
  110. How can we engage our waterfront?
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    Water play spaces, gathering places, natural settings that inspire rest, relaxation and human connection
  111. How can we engage our waterfront?
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    tubes! in shapes!
  112. How can we engage our waterfront?
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    provide clean swimming access points
  113. How can we engage our waterfront?
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    Clean up the water in False Creek
  114. How can we engage our waterfront?
    1Like
    Make it safe! Make it warm!
  115. How can we engage our waterfront?
    1Like
    Make it accessible to everyone, not just those with yachts.
  116. How can we engage our waterfront?
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    Art pieces
  117. How can we engage our waterfront?
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    Dive a lot
  118. How can we engage our waterfront?
    1Like
    By making the water clean from human waste that is pumped into it. I wouldn't be so keen to jump in the water like these kids are. Having a bunch of crap bike lanes doesn't actually produced "construction based pollution" didn't make us greener, but having clean water might.
  119. How can we engage our waterfront?
    1Like
    more amenities for derelict vessels at anchor
  120. How can we engage our waterfront?
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    hover bikes
  121. How can we engage our waterfront?
    3Like
    Eliminate the current barriers to physically touching the water!
  122. How can we engage our waterfront?
    1Like
    more beaches
  123. How can we engage our waterfront?
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    create a floating park which constantly changes the view of the landscape.
  124. How can we engage our waterfront?
    1Like
    free entry "Piscinas das mares by Alvaro Siza" kind of natural pool
  125. How can we engage our waterfront?
    4Like
    Create places that serve a variety of purposes - relaxation, contemplation, meeting, gathering
  126. How can we engage our waterfront?
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    Cool design
  127. How can we engage our waterfront?
    1Like
    Total wipeout
  128. How can we engage our waterfront?
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    Social Space
  129. How can we engage our waterfront?
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    floating plant structures
  130. How can we engage our waterfront?
    1Like
    Surf Park
  131. How can we engage our waterfront?
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    running trails
  132. How can we engage our waterfront?
    3Like
    surfing?
  133. How can we engage our waterfront?
    1Like
    kayak!
  134. How can we engage our waterfront?
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    stationery swimming structures
  135. How can we engage our waterfront?
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    gimme more parking
  136. How can we engage our waterfront?
    1Like
    Food
  137. How can we engage our waterfront?
    1Like
    more public infrastructure!
  138. How can we engage our waterfront?
    1Like
    More moorage
  139. How can we engage our waterfront?
    1Like
    boardwalks
  140. How can we engage our waterfront?
    1Like
    more activites
  141. How can we engage our waterfront?
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    Active uses
  142. How can we engage our waterfront?
    0Like
    needs an habitat island-like space like false creek has. it is magical. I go there all the time with my kids. Such a welcome respite to the urban edge of everything else.
  143. How can we engage our waterfront?
    4Like
    MAKE THIS REAL LIFE PLEASE
  144. How can we engage our waterfront?
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    sustain the environment
  145. How can we engage our waterfront?
    1Like
    clean water
  146. How can we engage our waterfront?
    1Like
    more activities, but first we need cleaner water quality
  147. How can we engage our waterfront?
    0Like
    interesting activities open area, photogenic
  148. How can we engage our waterfront?
    3Like
    Water taxis connecting Stanley Park (east) with Coal Harbor, SeaBus Terminal (Van), Ft of Lonsdale (NV) and Harbourside (NV)
  149. How can we engage our waterfront?
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    make it biodiversified
  150. How can we engage our waterfront?
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    free
  151. How can we engage our waterfront?
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    planning policies
  152. How can we engage our waterfront?
    2Like
    Keep the water clean
  153. How can we engage our waterfront?
    1Like
    Add telescopes and details about the Mountains and surrounding sights for tourists...always overhear them wondering what something they are looking at is.
  154. How can we engage our waterfront?
    1Like
    Cannonballs!
  155. How can we engage our waterfront?
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    Catapults!
  156. How can we engage our waterfront?
    2Like
    Water quality must be impeccable.
  157. How can we engage our waterfront?
    2Like
    More shaded places to make people comfortable and more accessibility. Ensuring people that they can be in a clean area although there are many harbours around.
  158. How can we engage our waterfront?
    3Like
    public art
  159. How can we engage our waterfront?
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    we can bungee jump
  160. How can we engage our waterfront?
    0Like
    Carousel
  161. How can we engage our waterfront?
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    Public Art, + public spaces, family oriented or all ages activities
  162. How can we engage our waterfront?
    1Like
    clean up the water
  163. How can we engage our waterfront?
    2Like
    warmer water
  164. How can we engage our waterfront?
    1Like
    rainbow slides... oversize inflatable swans..
  165. How can we engage our waterfront?
    Like
    parking/transport/access
  166. How can we engage our waterfront?
    7Like
    by creating an outdoor hot tub swimming lagoon complex (similar to Brisbane's South Bank); thus, residents of Vancouver can enjoy the outdoors and the waterfront area year round...in the summer people can enjoy what you have depicted in this picture, and then warm up in the hot tubs, and in the winter, people can enjoy the hot tubs and beautiful waterfront views
  167. How can we engage our waterfront?
    Like
    encourage social interaction
  168. How can we engage our waterfront?
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    cycle it !
  169. How can we engage our waterfront?
    4Like
    more swimming
  170. How can we engage our waterfront?
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    diversity of openness
  171. How can we engage our waterfront?
    1Like
    playfulness
  172. How can we engage our waterfront?
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    waterslides and jetpacks
  173. How can we engage our waterfront?
    0Like
    public access to all waterfront areas
  174. How can we engage our waterfront?
    1Like
    by cleaning it up
  175. How can we engage our waterfront?
    1Like
    design!
  176. How can we engage our waterfront?
    3Like
    Less rules. Parks are a huge part of the culture in many cities globally.
  177. How can we engage our waterfront?
    Like
    water cannons
  178. How can we engage our waterfront?
    Like
    more public space
  179. How can we engage our waterfront?
    1Like
    Clean outdoor pool
  180. How can we engage our waterfront?
    Like
    More public access
  181. How can we engage our waterfront?
    1Like
    Look at other waterfront cities, take their example. Move with purpose, don't take forever to make a change!
  182. How can we engage our waterfront?
    Like
    Playfullness
  183. How can we engage our waterfront?
    7Like
    More small shops/cafe's. Outdoor patio space/shaded area.
  184. How can we engage our waterfront?
    3Like
    Sculptural buoys!
  185. How can we engage our waterfront?
    1Like
    Swimming pool
  186. How can we engage our waterfront?
    2Like
    More functional public spaces
  187. How can we engage our waterfront?
    2Like
    Provide recreational activities ie kayaks, row boats, paddle boats, etc. Create opportunities for fishing, swimming, etc.
  188. How can we engage our waterfront?
    1Like
    a balance of greenspace, residences, and commerce
  189. How can we engage our waterfront?
    Like
    front to water
  190. How can we engage our waterfront?
    Like
    dance
  191. How can we engage our waterfront?
    Like
    many activities
  192. How can we engage our waterfront?
    Like
    activities (kayak, paddle board rentals), music fests (jazz, etc), local produce markets, park and beach space with chair and umbrella rentals, cafes with patios
  193. How can we engage our waterfront?
    Like
    jump in!
  194. How can we engage our waterfront?
    1Like
    Make it more accesible
  195. How can we engage our waterfront?
    Like
    water park
  196. How can we engage our waterfront?
    Like
    politician dunk tank
  197. How can we engage our waterfront?
    1Like
    fish farms
  198. How can we engage our waterfront?
    Like
    hydroponics
  199. How can we engage our waterfront?
    Like
    Slides
  200. How can we engage our waterfront?
    Like
    More small business on the seawall
  201. How can we engage our waterfront?
    Like
    dog pool
  202. How can we engage our waterfront?
    3Like
    Monitoring water toxicity and maintaining a healthy aquatic environment for marine animals and people.
  203. How can we engage our waterfront?
    3Like
    Coves and small inlets; not a hard line at the water's edge.
  204. How can we engage our waterfront?
    1Like
    Kayak-friendly connections to dining!
  205. How can we engage our waterfront?
    Like
    shaded areas
  206. How can we engage our waterfront?
    1Like
    Create a transit galleria and great public plaza at Waterfront Station.
  207. How can we engage our waterfront?
    1Like
    more accessibility
  208. How can we engage our waterfront?
    5Like
    A segment of structural glass walled walkway that is recessed a few feet down into the ocean water at highest tides, and with some marine habitat visible underwater on each side.
  209. How can we engage our waterfront?
    1Like
    With respect to the cantilevered structural form shown on the website: not by doing that; too much public liability for any municipality to have a structure with fall hazard exposure like that.
  210. How can we engage our waterfront?
    2Like
    Create blurry edges along seawall
  211. How can we engage our waterfront?
    1Like
    play area with sand
  212. How can we engage our waterfront?
    Like
    an awesome water slide and a green space to lie down on your towels in the sun.
  213. How can we engage our waterfront?
    Like
    a place for all to enjoy walking, biking, playing, visiting with friends
  214. How can we engage our waterfront?
    1Like
    By not being afraid to dip a toe in there
  215. How can we engage our waterfront?
    3Like
    Ensure the water is clean.
  216. How can we engage our waterfront?
    2Like
    Give me a place where I can throw a line in the water and fish the way people used to years ago!
  217. How can we engage our waterfront?
    4Like
    transform our thinking as a waterfront city
  218. How can we engage our waterfront?
    Like
    activate Coal Harbour for residents and tourists alike

We hope this experiment tilts perspectives and inspires curiosity and conversation about the built environment.

Invite others to join the conversation.