A 30-foot-long lunch table that pops up in the middle of a street just long enough for office workers to eat lunch is the newest idea for creating impromptu meeting places in Vancouver.
Starting in July and running once a week on Tuesdays or Wednesdays, volunteers will close a downtown city street, erect the table and put out chairs. For two hours, anyone can come down and brown-bag it at the Lunch Meet event. The city is also looking at encouraging street food vendors to set up near by.
And then, just as fast as it is put up, the whole thing will be taken down and the road opened to vehicle traffic again.
The idea is the newest project of Viva Vancouver, a $390,000 city-sponsored program that is behind a number of other summertime street closures and public-space activations.
The project is being done in partnership with the Vancouver Public Spaces Network and will only run for the month of July. But other street activations, including a complete closure of Robson Street between Hornby and Howe will run the entire summer.
On Tuesday city council was notified Viva Vancouver will set up 10 projects, some of which will be roving events while others will be semi-permanent installations on side streets.
Starting June 23 and running until Labour Day, the Granville Mall will be closed to vehicles every Saturday and Sunday. The Robson Street closure covers the same period, and starts with the Vancouver International Jazz Festival in its new downtown home.
Additionally, the city plans to create a few more “parklets” similar to its Parallel Park installation on West 14th Avenue at Main Street.
The Lunch Meet table was made last year by students in the CityStudio Vancouver program from a fir tree that fell in Killarney Park. The table, which is in three sections, has been used for other public events including as “a centrepiece of dialogue” for community information around the city’s Greenest City Action Plan.