New Westminster city council is interested in ways of making "modest improvements" to Hyack Square.
Coun. Jonathan Cote recently reported to council about public open spaces, a topic he recently wrote about for his urban studies graduate program at Simon Fraser University. The report, Reviving New Westminster's Main Street, included a number of recommendations, one of which is to ensure that the city's main streets are filled with great public spaces.
Council approved a motion to have staff investigate options to install "parallel parks" similar to those in Vancouver (Robson and Main streets) and to contact local business associations to assist in identifying supportable locations. It also approved a motion to have staff review options to make modest improvements to Hyack Square to enhance the quality of this public space.
While the site is probably one of the most transformed spaces in the city in the past 10 years, Cote said it could use some colour. He said inexpensive changes to increase greenery and trees could bring more life to the area.
"The space is quite green and doesn't promote a lot of public life and activity," he said.
Cote noted that public spaces can add to the atmosphere and create vibrancy and improve commercial areas of the city.
As part of the city's 150th anniversary in 2009, the City of New Westminster undertook a renovation of Hyack Square that included new seating, stairs to the pedestrian overpass leading to the Quay, and lighting, as well as new landscaping and general upgrades to the plaza. The city received a $382,500 provincial grant for the project.