Landscaped Median

with 2 comments

As public realm improvements to Norquay begin to be laid out and installed along Kingsway in the summer of 2012, residents can observe details and can check them against the Norquay Plan.

Concern is emerging that even the minimal immediate benefits promised to the neighborhood through the Plan’s coordinated upfront capital expenditure could be mysteriously cut back. It appears that the much ballyhooed landscaped median now may not extend as far as Gladstone — despite multiple assertions to the contrary in the Norquay Plan itself! Appended below are five relevant excerpts from the Norquay Plan, with emphasis added to mentions of Gladstone.

When does a Plan cease to be a plan? When someone, who knows who or why, wishes to violate an inconvenient specified commitment. It does not help at all that the Norquay Working Group was unilaterally terminated in February 2011, with Norquay residents subsequently denied ongoing participation in public realm planning.

The impending development of the large Canadian Tire site on the south side of Kingsway at Gladstone would be a target for suspicion, but the development application materials do include a visual for Kingsway Streetscapes that shows a landscaped median on Kingsway. Even so, this fact does not guarantee that the developer is not exerting backroom pressure to have that feature of the Norquay plan abrogated.

Trust in process, and confidence in politicians, developers, and city planning have suffered innumerable blows throughout recent Norquay history. Is this first small manifestation of a tangible benefit to Norquay — the landscaped median — going to occasion yet one more grinding of the heel on community expectations?


All extracts below come from the document approved by Vancouver City Council on 4 November 2010:

Note that specification of the eastern boundary shows deplorable inconsistency — Earles, Killarney, Moss, Wales! However, specification of the western boundary is nothing but Gladstone, five times out of five.

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1 —  Norquay Village Neighbourhood Centre Plan, Page 13 (pdf 13)

Pedestrian-Oriented Public Realm Improvements

To further support the improvement of the pedestrian experience in the Neighbourhood Centre, a detailed Public Realm and Transportation Improvement Plan is included for Council adoption (Appendix B). Highlights of the strategy detailed in this Plan include:

—  A new landscaped median on Kingsway between Gladstone and Moss Streets;

  •  •  •  •  •  •  

2 —  Norquay Village Neighbourhood Centre Plan, Appendix A, Page 32 of 40 (pdf 57)

5.3 Pedestrian-Oriented Public Realm Improvements

To further support the vision of an attractive, safe, and comfortable pedestrian travel and activities in Norquay Village, this plan proposes a broad program of targeted public realm improvements. These improvements include:

  On Kingsway, a landscaped median between Gladstone and Earles Streets

  •  •  •  •  •  •  

3 —  Norquay Village Neighbourhood Centre Plan, Appendix B, Page 3 of 18 (pdf 67)

2. Purpose

The purpose of this Plan is to guide the redesign of Kingsway and intersecting streets from Gladstone to Killarney Streets over time, in a consistent manner, whether the work is undertaken by the City of Vancouver or as part of private development. Geometric changes, a landscaped median, sidewalk stamps, public art and other initiatives are to be brought together into a cohesive whole.

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4 —  Norquay Village Neighbourhood Centre Plan, Appendix B, Page 4 of 18 (pdf 68)

4. Plan Overview

The Plan is composed of a series of interrelated changes that together will help achieve the objectives (Figure 1). The improvements include:

A. On Kingsway, a landscaped median between Gladstone and Moss Streets

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5 —  Norquay Village Neighbourhood Centre Plan, Appendix B, Page 5 of 18 (pdf 69)

5. The Landscaped Median

Throughout the public consultation landscaped medians have always been included as a means to achieve important urban design. Both the Collingwood and the Kingsway Knight Shopping Areas have planted centre medians. By also including landscaped medians in the Norquay Village Shopping Area, it creates a shopping area identifier for the entire Kingsway corridor. Landscaped centre medians break down the scale of the road width and add street beautification to the road, without having to reconstruct curbs. Specific to Norquay Village is the selection of 3 different centre median trees which adds unique identity to this shopping area when compared to Collingwood and Kingsway Knight. Figure 2 illustrates the proposed typical cross section of Kingsway between Gladstone and Wales Streets.

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Written by eyeonnorquay

16 July 2012 at 10:00 am

2 Responses

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  1. I’m curious as to why you might think the developer would try and fight against the planted median? I can’t see what benefit it would be to them to NOT have it, given the building design for 2220 Kingsway doesn’t have any driveways or anything similar. It seems it would be a benefit to them as it would increase the appeal of the ground level retail?


    22 August 2012 at 12:43 pm

  2. The speculations are founded in lack of transparency. And in knowing that any Freedom of Information request would die against the City of Vancouver stone wall. Like you, I don’t find it particularly plausible that the developer would not want the median landscaping. On the other hand, why would the City of Vancouver want to become that penny-pinching, and to go against multiple consistent clear verbal statements in the Norquay Plan? A conundrum. It seems very possible that the median could get in the way of that large construction project, and that damage to the median could add to project costs and reduce developer profits. There’s one promising reason. Obviously the developer read the plan as including the median landscaping.


    23 August 2012 at 10:21 pm

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