The Vancouver Park Board will hear a motion to revitalize the Downtown East Side’s Pigeon Park Monday night.
It’s a small concrete triangle in the heart of the downtown eastside… used heavily by locals, but worn down and seen as emblematic by some of the state of the neighbourhood.
Now Green Commissioner Michael Wiebe is proposing the board look at giving it an upgrade, with possible public art, new greenery, and a creative needle disposal box.
But Jean Swanson with the Carnegie Community Action project says she worries big changes could push out the community that calls it home.
“And pigeon park is kind of a neighbourhood living space. And if it gets gentrified, people aren’t going to feel comfortable there, and I don’t know where they’ll go.”
“Maybe security will be around or cops will be around to chase people out if they’re sleeping on the revitalized horticulture, or if they don’t use the waste management plan.”
Swanson says she’s not opposed to improving the park, but people living in SROs and the homeless need a place they’re accepted – and any changes to the park need to keep that in mind.