By John Bossio, Craig Berger and Sapna Budev
In a project co-ordinated by TransLink, which manages public transportation services, the city of Vancouver recently enhanced all of its street furniture, including bus shelters (examples pictured), kiosks, maps and newspaper boxes.
Toronto-based Kramer Design Associates (KDA) and the IBI Group—an architectural, planning and engineering firm—planned the system and built upon an existing streetscape program, which is jointly managed by international out-of-home (OOH) advertising agencies JCDecaux and CBS Outdoor.
The process began with a design analysis that included considering local environmental hazards that had hampered previous systems and comparing Vancouver’s streetscape to other cities across North America. Toronto, for example, was used as a model for bus shelter maps and information.
The resulting review recommended incorporating predominantly aluminum extrusions and connectors to withstand Vancouver’s wet climate, as well as housing interchangeable parts in weatherproof frames.
The street furniture program was also designed to be durable in close contact with pedestrians, while still allowing easy changing of graphics. The review’s recommendations included encasing wayfinding and advertising elements in a uniform, modular frame that would withstand frequent cleaning and support the graphic changeouts.
A wayfinding guideline manual was developed to manage all of the changes, along with a street furniture maintenance guide, which was especially important because multiple agencies would be responsible for program management.