Transit Fare Review Launches Phase 3

MODUS (Vince, Krystie, Michael, Ignatius) have helped TransLink design and launch engagement for Phase 3 of the region-wide Transit Fare Review Project. Input is sought on structuring fares by distance travelled (rather than by zones), product types, and a possible expansion of user discounts. Thousands have completed the survey already. Watch the explanatory videos and visit the project website to give your feedback!

The Good Night Out Street Team Launches

Good Night Out Vancouver, co-founded by MODUS team member Stacey Forrester, is proudly launching the Good Night Out Street Team tonight.

 The Good Night Out Street Team is the first program of its kind and is designed to positively impact nightlife within the Granville Entertainment District. Team members will help to keep bar- and club-goers safe and harassment-free during peak hours between midnight and 3 am by acting as highly visible eyes on the street. The team will engage with patrons in the public realm and proactively address issues pertaining to the safety of women and the LGBTQ2 community visiting the Granville Entertainment District.

Adapted from the campaign in London, Good Night Out Vancouver launched in 2015 and is coordinated by Stacey Forrester and Ashtyn Bevan. Good Night Out is an independent team of regional organizers passionate about making nights out safer for all.

GNO Social Media Graphic1.jpg
Stacey Forrester (Left) and Ashtyn Bevan (Right), Co-founders of Good Night Out Vancouver.

Stacey Forrester (Left) and Ashtyn Bevan (Right), Co-founders of Good Night Out Vancouver.

VanPlay Phase 1 Complete!

Thank you for your fantastic involvement in Phase 1 of VanPlay: “discovery”.
The VanPlay team met around 4000 people out on tour with our Imagination Playground, and more than 2 700 people completed the survey on TalkVancouver.
We are pleased to share with you a summary report which outlines everything we did and heard during Phase 1 – it is located here.

On the 24th of July we presented an early snapshot of the engagement results, and a project update to Park Board Commissioners.
The Report Reference presentation if you fancy a look - VanPlay – Phase 1 Project Update. 


Happy Streets Living Lab


In July, MODUS supported local colleagues Happy City with their “Happy Streets” experiment, which was run during Placemaking Week (an international conference  held in Vancouver last fall). 

MODUS partnered with Happy City on the experiment, summary report, and videos used to spread the learnings.

Major findings from the experiment include:

  • Tactical interventions can support social trust among strangers in public spaces
  • Interventions with flora and colourful paint can support happiness in every day spaces
  • Green space can have a rapid calming effect on community members and visitors
  • Spaces that reflect a sense of community ownership, engagement, or stewardship of these sites can not only create benefits for those who regularly use the site, but also create immediate attachment for visitors

For more info check out the report and videos here.

We're Hiring for City of Surrey's Parks, Recreation & Culture Strategic Plan

MODUS is hiring Ambassadors as part of the public engagement efforts for the City of Surrey's Parks, Recreation & Culture Strategic Plan. Read on to learn more about this exciting opportunity. Apply by February 23, 2017.



Help Shape Surrey

Employment period: Throughout March 2017 and May 2017 (plus one mandatory 2-hour training period on February 27th)

Compensation: $18/hr

Number of positions:  3 (each position will average approx. 70 hours)

Timing:  Mostly evenings and weekends; potential for some daytime shifts for those interested

Closing Date:  February 23, 2017

About Surrey PRC Strategic Plan

Surrey has incredible parks, a thriving arts and cultural scene, a rich history, and world-class recreational facilities. The City’s Parks, Recreation & Culture (PRC) Department helps to plan and operate many of these amenities. To build on these great assets, and to meet the needs of a diverse and growing community, the City is now updating its Parks, Recreation & Culture (PRC) Strategic Plan.

The City is launching a highly engaging process to hear from a wide range of community members and stakeholder groups. We are currently looking for up to three (3) ‘ambassadors’ to join the team and engage the public at key locations and events throughout the City.

The ambassadors will interact with citizens at community ‘hot spots’ such as malls, community centers and major transit hubs. Ambassadors will go to a range of community events and gathering places and speak directly to as many community members as possible about the process and encourage citizens to answer a short electronic questionnaire on tablets.

We are looking for enthusiastic, energetic people with an optimistic outlook and a willingness to talk to a wide variety of people; candidates do not need a background in community planning. Engagement training and equipment will be provided.

We are also seeking a diverse range of project ambassadors including youth (15 – 30) and Punjabi-speakers. Ideally ambassadors should live in Surrey and/or know the community well.

Note: this job can be physically demanding - requires standing for long periods, working outdoors, and may include set up of tables, chairs, displays, etc.


Description of Responsibilities

Provide outreach and raise awareness about the Surrey PRC Strategic Plan update. Ambassadors will be working at various outdoor locations over two periods (March and May 2017).

·      To engage a wide range of community members, hand out information cards, and capture their ideas in an electronic questionnaire

·      To achieve a high level of community awareness of and interest in the process and driving up participation numbers for the questionnaire and other activities.

·      To achieve high rates of participation among audiences who might not otherwise participate.

·      Go to community events or gathering places on weekends and evenings to gather input.

·      Gain enough understanding of the project to be comfortable answering general questions.

·      Act as a positive role model across the organization.

·      Support the project team in ensuring effective community engagement.

·      Applicants must commit to a minimum of 7 shifts and attend a mandatory, paid training session prior to the campaign period

·      Shifts are 4 to 6 hours each, at various outdoor locations. Shifts will be confirmed prior to the campaign start date. You will be compensated for up to half an hour travel time per shift and reimburse your use of public transit within one zone.

Key Skills and Aptitudes

·      Approachable, out-going and optimistic; friendly demeanour is key.

·      Willing and able to transport informational materials to transit-accessible locations within the City of Surrey.

·      Physically capable of setting-up displays, table and chairs, if necessary.

·      Eager to hit participation targets and able to compile and report successes, failures and community responses to outreach efforts.

·      Remain calm and display professionalism if faced with challenging conversations. 

·      Capable of using time in an effective and budget-conscious manner.

·      Ability to speak Punjabi a strong asset

·      Diversity training or experience an asset

All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply. We especially welcome applications from visible minority groups, women, youth (ages 15 – 30), Aboriginal persons, persons with disabilities, persons of minority sexual orientations and gender identities, and others with the skills and knowledge to productively engage with diverse communities.

Please submit a resume and brief cover letter by February 23rd, 2017 to:

Collyn Chan, Engagement Coordinator
Modus Planning, Design & Engagement Inc.



Thoughts on 2017

As 2017 begins, there is a lot of discussion about the best way to respond constructively to "the challenges of our times," and to the sometimes harsh discourse that has sharpened recently. 

The principals and the staff team at MODUS have committed to spend some time in focused discussion over the next couple of months on how to best renew and expand our mission statement (purpose), core values (what we stand for) and services (how we deliver value).

This quick note is simply to put a "stake in the ground" that such a renewal is underway....stay tuned for an announcement of what we develop together later this spring.


11 Really Great Things that Happened in 2016

As 2016 draws to a close, the MODUS team is keeping things positive.

We’ve created a list of some of the best things that happened in 2016, with a focus on those that strengthened our communities and our world.


1. The Paris Agreement – At the Paris climate conference, 195 countries adopted the first-ever universal and legally-binding global climate deal. The agreement sets out a global action plan to put the world on track to avoid dangerous climate change by limiting global warming to well below 2°C.

2. Canada’s Commitment to the Paris Agreement - For the first time in Canada, the government is pricing carbon pollution as part of the country’s commitment to the Paris Agreement. In March 2016, all Canadian provinces adopted the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change to invest in clean energy and reduce carbon emissions.

3. Robson Square Plaza - The City of Vancouver made a monumental decision this year to close the 800 block of Robson Street, which runs through Robson Square, Vancouver’s main public plaza in the heart of downtown. With this closure, Robson Square will become downtown Vancouver’s largest public space. And the north side of the Art Gallery is getting a fresh new plaza design as well. 

4. Renewable Energy is “Crushing” Fossil Fuels Clean energy investment broke new records in 2015 and is now seeing twice as much global funding as fossil fuels. To prove this, California is now powering over 6 million homes with solar power, a record in the US, and Portugal ran its entire nation solely on renewable energy for four days straight.

5. Public Transit Investments – The Lower Mainland’s transit referendum may have failed, but Los Angeles residents voted in favour of a permanent sales tax increase to fund a major expansion of the county’s public transit system. Measure M will bring in $860 million annually for decades and will fund expanded subway lines, sidewalk improvements, cycling infrastructure, bike share expansion, and a network of greenways. Locally, Metro Vancouver celebrated the expansion of its rapid transit network with the opening of the Evergreen Line in December.

6. Zero Waste in Vancouver – The City of Vancouver is the first large city in the world to commit to a zero waste target. As part of its ambitious goal to become the Greenest City in the World by 2020, Vancouver has already reduced solid waste going to landfills by 23%  – almost halfway towards the 2020 target of a 50% reduction. With help from MODUS, the City is now creating a long-term Zero Waste Strategy (with a target of 0 waste by 2040).  

AP Photo/Rajesh Kumar Singh

AP Photo/Rajesh Kumar Singh

7. Reforestation in India and Beyond – on July 11th, 2016, 800,00 volunteers in India planted 50 million trees in 24 hours to combat climate change, smashing world records for the most trees planted in a single day. In December, African nations pledged to reforest 100 million hectares. A wide range of stakeholders, from countries to companies, also signed on to the non-binding New York Declaration of Forests with the goal of halving deforestation by 2020 and ending it by 2030.

8. Endangered Species are Rebounding - Endangered tiger, panda and manatee populations grew in 2016, demonstrating that conservation efforts really work. The giant panda is no longer an endangered species, following decades of work by conservationists. Wild tiger populations appear to be slowly rebounding thanks to efforts to crack down on poaching and protect wildlife reserves in places like India, Russia, Nepal, and Bhutan.  The Florida manatee population now hovers around 6,300, a 500 percent increase from 1991, thanks to conservation efforts.

9. The Great Bear Rainforest - On February 1, 2016, Premier Christy Clark announced an agreement between the province of British Columbia,  First Nations, environmentalists and the forestry industry to protect 85% of the 6.4 million hectare Great Bear Rainforest from industrial logging. In December 2016, Canada’s Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, officially ended its greatest threat, the Northern Gateway Project.

10. Syrian Refugees - While the war in Syria rages on, Canada has welcomed 38,713 Syrian refugees since November 4, 2015.

11. New Planning Leadership in Vancouver - This year, the City of Vancouver hired a new General Manager of Planning, Urban Design, and Sustainability, Gil Kelley, to help take Vancouver to the next level in becoming a greener, more affordable, and inclusive city.

All of these good news stories demonstrate real momentum in efforts to make the world a better place. Let’s keep moving forward in 2017.

PHOTO: Ian McAllister

PHOTO: Ian McAllister