Surrey’s downtown core. (Photo: City of Surrey)

Surrey’s downtown core. (Photo: City of Surrey)

City Centre

New survey aims to create a ‘vibrant downtown that all of Surrey can be proud of’

Downtown Surrey BIA’s 20/20 Vision project asks residents for input

With a “relatively young” city centre, the Downtown Surrey Business Improvement Association is hoping to help shape the area’s future with a vision project and survey.

The Downtown Surrey BA is looking to residents from throughout the city to complete its 20/20 Vision project survey.

Through the survey, the BIA will use the information to “help vision the future of downtown Surrey,” and to “highlight ideads that can be implemented” by the City of Surrey, the BIA, other stakeholders and community members.

Downtown Surrey BIA Chair Bill Cunningham said Surrey has the opportunity to build out a downtown core, “something that as far as downtowns go, is relatively young.”

“We want it to be a place that people across Surrey in particular, but really the Fraser Valley in general, that when you say, ‘I’m going downtown,’ you’re not just automatically assuming that means downtown Vancouver to see a show. We are building our own downtown here,” he said.

With the survey and vision project, Cunningham said it’s not meant to “duplicate or replace” downtown Vancouver, but it presents an opportunity to have a “little bit of that fresh palette.”

He said that maybe some people will want the same services and atmosphere as Vancouver, but others may want “an experience that is unique to Surrey or the Fraser Valley.”

“In the formation of that, what types of things do those of us on this side of the river want out of a new downtown?”

Cunningham said because of that, the DSBIA is trying to cast “as large a net as possible” with respondents to the survey.

“One thing that’s resonated, and we’re quite heartened by it so far, is the level of engagement outside of downtown Surrey, which is something we were really hopeful for,” he said. “Because as much as our organization, our members, are in the downtown Surrey district itself, we recognize that everybody in Surrey has an interest in what their downtown should be. So rather than just talking to the people that are already downtown and working to build out the downtown.

“We thought it was very important to get the perspective of everyone across Surrey because this is their downtown as well.”

He said “proportionally,” the DSBIA is getting more responses from people who live in Whalley and City Centre, but the association is getting “meaningful” responses from people throughout Surrey.

“More from Newton than Cloverdale but similar numbers from Guildford, South Surrey and Fleetwood.”

Cunningham said the BIA really wanted to make sure the 20/20 Vision project and survey were as much of a “pan-Surrey” project as possible “to really make this a vibrant downtown that all of surrey can be proud of.”

For more information, and to take the survey, visit oursurreyvision.com/survey.

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