A view of Whalley. (Photo: Tom Zytaruk)

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

This map illustrates the number of active COVID-19 cases in Greater Vancouver from Feb. 21 to Feb. 27, 2021. (BC Centre for Disease Control image)
Delta’s COVID-19 numbers continue to climb

Total number of cases in Fraser Health increased by 206 from Feb. 21-27

An example of a Surrey Police cruiser, showcased at Mayor Doug McCallum’s State of the City Address at Civic Hotel in May of 2019. (File photo: Amy Reid)
Surrey Police Service hires first three inspectors as ‘next layer of leadership’

Three men have more than 80 years of combined experience

Scales of Justice
Court awards woman $167K after vehicle was struck by White Rock taxi in 2016

Plaintiff’s knee injuries and resulting chronic pain disability are genuine, judge rules

Delta police have arrested a suspect in the theft of a custom-made wheelchair hoist stolen from a Ladner condo complex’s underground parkade on Dec. 15, 2020. (Debbie J Green/Facebook photos)
Delta police arrest suspect in theft of custom wheelchair hoist

The device was stolen Dec. 15, 2020 in Ladner and later recovered, stripped and damaged, in Surrey

TEASER - SAGAís Gift Shop Manager Barbie Warwick wearing The Summons while sketching in Facing Time exhibit. Photo by Pardeep Singh.jpg
‘The Summons’ face masks created as fundraiser for Surrey Art Gallery Association

Image of magnolia flower and poetry printed on specially designed mask

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry head for the B.C. legislature press theatre to give a daily update on the COVID-19 pandemic, April 6, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. nears 300,000 COVID-19 vaccinations, essential workers next

564 new cases, four deaths, no new outbreaks Thursday

Walter Gretzky father of hockey hall-of-famer Wayne Gretzky waves to fans as the Buffalo Sabres play against the Toronto Maple Leafs during third period NHL hockey action in Toronto on Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Walter Gretzky, father of the Great One, dies at 82

Canada’s hockey dad had battled Parkinson’s disease and other health issues

Municipal Affairs Minister Josie Osborne speaks in the B.C. legislature, March 4, 2021. (Hansard TV)
B.C. Liberals, NDP sing in harmony on local election reforms

Bill regulates paid canvassers, allows people in condo buildings

(National Emergency Management Agency)
No tsunami risk to B.C. from powerful New Zealand earthquake: officials

An 8.1 magnitude earthquake shook the north of New Zealand Thursday morning

(AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)
Pandemic stress, isolation key factors as to why Canadians turned to cannabis, alcohol

Study found that isolation played key role in Canadians’ substance use

Burnaby Mounties responded to 56 complaints and issued 10 tickets to people flouting COVID-19 restrictions in February. (Patrick Davies/100 Mile Free Press)
COVID denier fined $2,300 for hosting gathering in her home: Burnaby RCMP

The woman told Mounties she does not believe the pandemic is real

Grand Forks’ Gary Smith stands in front of his Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster float. Photo: Submitted
Grand Forks’ Flying Spaghetti Monster leader still boiling over driver’s licence photo

Gary Smith, head of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster of B.C., said he has since spoken to lawyers

RCMP members responded to calls of a man-down at Landsdowne mall in Richmond Wednesday afternoon. The 40-year-old was suffering from stab wounds. (Phil McLachlan/Capital News)
Man in critical condition following afternoon attack outside Richmond mall: RCMP

The Vancouver resident was found lying injured outside Richmond’s Lansdowne Centre

Most Read