Vancouver: Past, Present + Future

July 12th, 2016

Past, Present + Future is a unique collaborative project expected to provide teachers, tourists, and the greater Vancouver community with an interactive and educational experience unlike any other.

A combination of both the latest visualization technologies and the rich history of downtown Vancouver, this experience will showcase the historical progression of architecture and design in the city.  By creating an interactive aerial-photosphere of three iconic Vancouver locations—the central Burrard and Georgia area, the Smithe and Pacific area known as Yaletown, and the Hastings and Abbot area known as Gastown—ReACT Lab intends to help stimulate an engaging and meaningful discussion about the city’s past, present, and future by bringing every decade between 1890 and 2040 to life.

We believe that in order to understand where we are headed, it is important that we first understand where we have been.  As Canada’s most densely populated city, Vancouver has undergone enormous economic development over the past 100+ years.  The trends and influences of this development will provide valuable insights to consider when developing our vision for the city’s future.  These influences include events such as the Klondike Gold Rush of the 1890’s—which saw Vancouver overtake Victoria as the major commercial centre on Canada’s west coast—and reveal a telling story of the city’s progression through time.

By extending our visualizations into the future, ReACT Lab intends to build a conversation around Metro Vancouver’s regional growth strategy, “Shaping Our Future”.  This strategy focuses on five main goals, which include:

    1. Creating a Compact Urban Area
    2. Supporting a Sustainable Economy
    3. Protecting the Environment and Responding to Climate Change Impacts
    4. Developing Complete Communities
    5. Supporting Sustainable Transportation Choices.

Apart from ReACT Lab, this collaboration will see key contributions from other technological specialists and historical experts, including:  GeoSim, the Museum of Vancouver, the City of Vancouver Archives, and Changing Vancouver.

As a driver of positive social change, ReACT Lab is hopeful that this collaborative project will help facilitate a more stimulated and involved Vancouver community.