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City of Vancouver seeking feedback on how to revitalize Granville street

The City of Vancouver wants to know what people think will breathe new life into the beleaguered Granville strip.

At a news conference Thursday, officials and community leaders said the hope is to be able to revive the area's popularity.  

"The Granville Street Planning Program is a vital chance to revive and restore the heart of Vancouver's entertainment district," said Jane Talbot, president and CEO of the Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association.

Safety was cited as a key concern in the area.

Stacey Forrester, co-founder of the non-profit Good Night Out, spoke about the findings of a recent survey involving people working in the neighbourhood. 

"Eighty-nine per cent indicated that they had felt unsafe in the area in the last year," she said.

Mayor Ken Sim said he would would support a larger police presence in the area. 

“Sometimes the people don’t feel safe on the street and if we nail that, more people can come down here and feel safe to be here and enjoy," Sim said CTV News. 

Some of the planning underway involves expanding and enhancing public space to support a range of activities, protecting and strengthening job space, expanding tourism and improving transportation.

Specifics of the revitalization plan weren't talked about as the city hopes to receive feedback and ideas from the public before moving forward. 

Outside Granville Street between Smithe and Robson streets, however, several information signs show a 17-story mixed use commercial building in the rezoning application process. 

Coun. Sarah Kirby-Young is a major supporter of the project.

“It epitomizes all the things that we want to see on the street," said Kirby-young. "Revitalization of a historic venue like the Commodore - where everyone remembers seeing music shows – retail, bringing people to the street during daytime and then building office on top.”

While interviewing several people along Granville Street today, sirens could be heard blaring in the background, often resulting in the interview coming to a halt.

Sim said issues involving drugs, mental health and housing stretch well beyond Granville Street and cannot be fixed by local government alone.

“We do have incredibly large systemic issues that we have to deal with and we are dealing with it and we’re working with senior levels of government," said Sim. 

The city is now looking for community input and ideas and information on how to provide feedback can be found here Top Stories

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