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Oct 01, 2019 Return to Headlines

Buchanan Square Reenvisioned as a Vibrant Community Space

by Sarah Rossi |

COQUITLAM, B.C., Oct. 1, 2019 – Buchanan Square in Coquitlam’s City Centre will be transformed into a more vibrant and welcoming space next year, with new seating, seasonal shade structure, swing benches and other people-focused amenities to animate and make the most of the important public space.

Coquitlam staff received the go-ahead Monday night to proceed with the detailed design for upgrades that could include amenities such as colourful benches, seasonal shade structure, table games, swing benches and a slide connecting the upper and lower plazas.

Plans for the square would also include decorative lighting, more flexible event space, and a timber seat wall with stairs to provide more functional connection between the two levels.

Square Enhancements Tied to Necessary Parkade Roof Replacement
The opportunity to enhance the public space in Buchanan Square stems from a need to replace the roof of the RCMP Public Safety Building’s underground parkade, located beneath the square’s lower level. The roof’s waterproof membrane has exceeded its lifespan and has sprung a number of leaks over the last several years, requiring repairs and making some stalls unusable.

The detailed design will be ready for Council approval in spring 2020. Construction is anticipated to begin next summer and be completed in the fall.

Concept Based on Public Feedback
In late May and early June, the City conducted a survey and open house to determine how to improve Buchanan Square as a fun and welcoming public gathering space.

More than 400 members of the public completed the survey, in addition to more than 165 City and RCMP staff members. The feedback was positive and provided valuable insights that were used to refine the square’s design concept.

About two-thirds of both public and staff respondents indicated they only visit the square when passing through. About half of both public and staff said a lack of amenities stops them from visiting more frequently. About a third of public respondents and almost three-quarters of staff respondents pointed to the lack of seating as a barrier. 

In terms of potential features, the feedback showed the space would benefit from additional seating and social spaces, and a flexible layout that would facilitate a variety of social and community gatherings while maintaining floral displays and vegetation.

The redevelopment of this important 0.7-acre public space in a rapidly growing area presents a great opportunity to do more with the existing asset, and to showcase Coquitlam’s inclusive and fun nature.

Detailed Design to Begin
Buchanan Square is intended to complement and visually connect to Spirit Square located nearby and adjacent to Glen Pine Pavilion.

More details about the plans will be available when the detailed design is presented to Council for approval in 2020.

About Buchanan Square
Located on Burlington Drive next to Coquitlam City Hall, Buchanan Square is a 0.7-acre public open space consisting of an upper-level and lower-level outdoor plaza above a parkade. This plaza is an important public interface between City Hall and the Coquitlam RCMP building.

For more information, visit www.coquitlam.ca/buchanansquare.

Media contact:
Andre Isakov
Park Planning & Design Manager