Bringing Public Spaces to Life

My project seeks to transform public spaces such as the SFU Town Square into vibrant places that prompt community members to linger and interact. My placemaking strategy seeks to work with existing features by adding creativity, art, and culture to an already-built environment. My goal is to bring socially isolated communities together after covid 19.




Introduction to Planning (PLAN 100)


  • Tammara Soma

City of Vancouver:

  • Alex Taylor


Fall 2022



Many public spaces, such as the SFU Town Square, contain the perfect built environment for communities to gather in. Features of the Town Square, such as a wheelchair ramp and wooden benches, make the space accessible and inclusive. Adequate lighting and a water fountain increase the safety of the space. Large waste bins and a protected forested area on the west border make the space environmentally friendly and visually appealing. A tent promotes year-round use of the space. However, the social isolation policies of COVID-19 have had lasting impacts on the SFU and university community. Today, the SFU Town Square still lacks the liveliness it possessed during pre-covid times. Currently, the space is usually left unused.

My project seeks to tackle this challenge by making the SFU Town Square lively again. I use a placemaking approach by adding creativity, art and culture to the space. I suggest implementing these strategies: supply chalk for children to draw on the platform, commission a local art piece, hire street performers, bring in food trucks, supply giant yard games, and add a communal fire pit. With the implementation of these strategies, I predict that community members will more often choose to linger in the space and engage with other community members through cultural connections. If this project is successful, it can be easily replicated in many public spaces around Vancouver. Many communities, like SFU, still feel the effects of Covid-19 and could benefit from the activation of dull community spaces.

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