Save Vancouver's Barge! Cancel the demolition - Create a living landmark.
SOS! Vancouver's infamous Barge has been slated for demolition.
How would that impact our community? And is it really the best and only option?
What's the current status of the Barge?
Don't know about the Barge? See Backstory.
Here's the situation: The Barge can't be moved. It can't be re-floated. And it can't be left the way it is, empty and abandoned. So it's been slated for demolition - seemingly without thought to alternatives. Why?
Make no mistake. Demolition by torch-cutting through tonnes of solid steel and hauling away the scrap would take months, at significant cost. To attempt such an undertaking in-place is highly unusual. This is set to become an unavoidably disruptive & ongoing event... right in the middle of Vancouver's popular Sunset Beach Park.
Just how long the destruction process might go on, no one knows for sure. So why go through it if we don't have to?
What's the alternative?
What if there's a better use of resources? An action plan that gives us something more than an empty patch of shoreline?
OPERATION LIFE RAFT
Demolition should be our last priority. Instead, let's pour our efforts into revitalizing the Barge.
The Barge is meant to carry weight. First, load it down with rubble and earth. Anchor it safely. Then, plant a forest ecosystem and let it flourish.
Starting with a diverse balance of native plant and tree species, our forest in the sky will take on a life of its own, evolving into a beacon of biodiversity. A living landmark that will inspire for generations.
Rendering of the Barge after integration into the landscape.
A monumental feature.
The Barge is already a landmark - a place to meet & gather for locals and visitors alike. But it can mean much more.
As a remarkable living object, the Barge becomes the anchor for an entire cultural district.
It's already surrounded by an amazing collection of sculptures, public art, and memorials. Let's galvanize a local identity of world-class public art and tourism.
The Barge is a centerpiece.
Incredibly, the Barge landed right in line with this iconic raw-steel sculpture by Bernar Venet.
An oasis of life at the edge of the city.
More than just a waypoint or a fascinating attraction, the Barge can host all kinds of life, too.
Up above, growing from the deep soil: a forest ecosystem of plants, trees, and all the bird & pollinator species that call them home.
Down below, around the hull: an aquatic, intertidal habitat for fish, mollusks, amphipods, and barnacles - maybe even a seal or two.
The Barge is part of the landscape.
Filling in and around the Barge serves to integrate it into the existing landscape.
HISTORY & URBAN IDENTITY
True to the story of False Creek.
Soon after settlement, industry overtook the False Creek Flats, and logging operations laid waste to the land that had been well-stewarded for so long.
As late as the 1980s, portions of the creek were being overturned by barges and cranes, filling the marsh to create new land for industrial use.
Today, reconciliation & revitalization are top priority, and this project can participate.
The Barge is a Vancouver story.
False Creek, 1983. Photo: Gerry Duncan.
Unique, but not unprecedented.
Could a forest in a Barge really work? Other successful projects have prepared the ground.
To learn more, see Inspiration and FAQ.
Local landmark. Global symbol.
Our city aspires to be resilient: one of the greenest, most unique cities on planet Earth. We can earn that title, but only if we choose to see every upheaval, no matter how large, as a game-changing opportunity.
Vancouver must develop a world-class identity that's all our own. That means investing in biodiversity, in tourism, in the public realm, and in climate action. Operation Life Raft contributes to all these causes at once.
The Barge is a long-term investment for all.
The view from Vanier Park, looking toward the North Shore Mountains.
Will you help Save the Barge?
Here's how you can add your voice:
1. Sign the Petition here: http://www.change.org/savethebarge
2. Spread the word.