Walk Leader: Paul Cheng
At just under 60 minutes, our walk was rather short but we gained much insight to the foundation of the city and where it can propel to in the future. I had landmarks and potential spots in mind but with the intention of having the participants contribute to where they wanted to go next– which is what they did. We meandered through developing townhome complexes and newly constructed apartment buildings around the area. We also discussed the impact of the new transportation line, the Evergreen Skytrain Line, due to be completed in the later quarters of 2016.
There were three participants in our walk, all of whom I was given the warm opportunity to learn more about. Linda lives and works in the North Shore but had never travelled out to Coquitlam and came out by pure curiosity. Leading her own walk the following day, she was trying to get a sense of what it was like to lead a Jane’s Walk. Working for the government in the environmental services department, she has vast knowledge of the environmental impacts of the area.
Tim and Brian hailed from Translink, Vancouver’s transportation agency, which oversees all major transportation services for residents. This year was particularly special as Travel Smart, a department of Translink, was a sponsor of Jane’s Walk Vancouver so it was absolutely great to have representation on ground! They provided extensive knowledge on the crucial topic of the new Evergreen Skytrain Line which will be connecting the major suburb of Coquitlam to Metro Vancouver.
As part of Vancouver’s growth, the Evergreen line will serve the rapidly expanding Fraser Valley. With a sprawling immigrant community and average socio-economic status, the Coquitlam area is perfect for families who live here and work elsewhere, which is generally easily accessible through transit lines. There are over a dozen new townhome and apartment complexes being erected left, right and center and targeted at the demographic described above. The new transit line will allow us to become a hub of people, ideas and innovation. I overheard a participant say, “I would definitely buy an apartment here, had I known Coquitlam would be like this today.”
The city of Coquitlam is changing ever so rapidly–which is precisely why it is now a prime time for it to join the international movement of understanding the intersections of people, buildings and their spaces through Jane’s Walks. As a suburb, we can view the surge of condo- development and new infrastructure as mobilizing and strengthening connections, rather than a detriment to the comforts of a small-yet-growing suburbia.
Thank you to those who came out to the first Jane’s Walk for Coquitlam- you are definitely paving way for more in the near future!