A view of Whalley. (Photo: Tom Zytaruk)

Downtown Surrey BIA rolls out 2020 Our Vision Surrey results

Last year the DSBIA asked residents for input on how to create the ‘best possible vision’ for downtown

The Downtown Surrey Business Improvement Association rolled out the results of its 2020 Our Surrey Vision community engagement project at a luncheon at the Civic Hotel in Whalley on Thursday.

The DSBIA, which was formed in 2003, last year issued a survey asking local residents for their input on how to create the “best possible vision” for Surrey’s downtown.

During four months of community consultation – which saw 4,677 in-person engagements, 168,000 online engagements including 988 online and 318 paper survey responses, for a total of 1,316 – seven themes arose, dealing with built environment and public spaces, safety, services and businesses, transportation, community, entertainment and affordability.

The take-away, said project manager Bonnie Burnside, is people “want it to be unique.”

“One of the things is people want a unique permanent market,” she said. “Another thing we want to promote is walkable streets.”

The result of this undertaking is a 55-page document with a healthy catalogue of recommendations. It encourages the City of Surrey or other levels of government to ensure downtown is safe and clean with pedestrian-only streets, an iconic big clock, “nice” gardens, a museum focusing on history and art, an iconic performance centre, more parks and greenery and trees, services for mental health and addictions, and affordable housing.

Land developers, it suggests, might build a “restaurant row,” tall iconic towers, an entertainment district featuring “nightlife,” public art, an observation deck with a restaurant, add a permanent indoor or multicultural market to new developments, and recruit post-secondary schools to operate South-of-Fraser campuses out of new developments.

The report says the DSBIA could focus on street life (performers), a Downtown Surrey Welcome sign, help ensure a safe and clean community, and focus on community arts projects, transit through advocacy, festivals, events and activities for youths, and advocating for assistance for people who are homeless, mentally ill or have addiction issues.

homelessphoto

Bonnie Burnside, Downtown Surrey BIA. (Photo: Tom Zytaruk)

Participants were asked to list three of their favorite things about Downtown Surrey and the top 10 responses, from one to 10, were Skytrain, City Centre Library/Library, shopping, Holland Park, Central City/Surrey Place Mall/Surrey Central Mall/”The Mall,” food/restaurants, parks, SFU, events/festivals/Fusion Fest/ Movies Under the Stars, and transit hub.

Asked to rate their experience in Downtown Surrey over the past year, 54 per cent chose “very positive” or somewhat positive, 24 per cent indicated a “neutral feeling” and 22 per cent either “somewhat or very negative.”

Of those who completed the survey, roughly 50 were age 15 or under, about 225 were 16 to 24, some 425 were 25 to 40 years old, a little under 450 were 41 to 64 years old, a little over 100 were 65 and older, and a little over 50 provided no answer.

A little more than 500 were residents, just over 400 were visitors, about 140 were employees or employers, 100 were students and just under 100 were property owners. Moreover, about 225 respondents lived in the city centre, a little less than that in the larger Whalley community, roughly 180 were from Newton, a little over 150 hailed from Guildford, about 140 were from Fleetwood, a little over 100 were from Cloverdale (same for South Surrey), and the remainder were from Vancouver, “Surrey”, Burnaby, Coquitlam, Delta and “other.”

So where does it go from here?

Burnside said the BIA’s board will be going over the report and working on a five-year strategic plan.

“So they’ll be coming up with what their priorities are out of that plan,” she said, “and on a grassroots level we’ll be hiring students again for the summer – every year we hire students – and some of the projects that will be working on directly relate to ideas that people have come up with through the report.”



tom.zytaruk@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram and follow Tom on Twitter

Surrey

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

OUR VIEW: Way too many Surrey COVID-19 cases

We all need to take this threat seriously

OPINION: It’s Time for Surrey to be Heard

Which party will listen to Surrey voters?

Premier says Surrey mayor opened ‘hornets’ nest’ with Surrey policing transition

Surrey election battle heating up over controversial cop transition

‘Illegal’ Canadian crab traps, fishing gear seized in U.S. waters near White Rock

Investigation continues after joint operation between Canadian, American authorities in Boundary Bay

Horgan lambastes Liberal health record in Surrey

Premier John Horgan was in Surrey this morning to attack Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson’s role in selling a potential hospital site here at a discount

Liberals vow wage-subsidy extension to 2021, revamp of EI system in throne speech

Canadian labour market was hammered by pandemic, when lockdowns in the spring led to a loss of 3 million jobs

Boulders near Harrison vandalized with derogatory word

Vandalism likely occured between Sunday evening and Tuesday evening

‘It’s a boy’: Southern Resident killer whale calf born to J Pod is healthy, researchers say

J35 had previously done a ‘Tour of Grief,’ carrying her dead calf for 17 days

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

People ‘disgusted’ by COVID-19 election call, B.C. Liberal leader says

Andrew Wilkinson speaks to municipal leaders from Victoria

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Horgan blasts B.C. Greens for refusing youth overdose detention

Lack of support key to B.C. election call, NDP leader says

Canada’s active COVID-19 cases top 10,000 as daily new cases triple over the past month

Dr. Tam repeated her warning to young people, who have made up the majority of recent cases

Abbotsford youth launches mental health awareness page

Abby Senior student Mia Skoone aims to provide information with @mentalhealth4youth account

Most Read