TED Talks' BC Place live screening "noise pollution" concerns area resident

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TED Terry Fox Plaza

Another day, another complaint. It’s nothing new for people to complain about light, noise and other forms of pollution. What may surprise some is that the complaints are coming from downtown residents and not someone living in the far reaches of Metro Vancouver.

Terry Fox Plaza TED screening
Image: Vancouver Public Space

In a recent article by Metro News, Vancouver resident, David Cookson, claims local residents’ lives are once again being disrupted with noise and sound pollution due to the TED Talks live broadcast at the outdoor Terry Fox Plaza.

The large screen (facing Robson Street) is only on during daylight hours, with the exception of event days. It’s never on past 10:30 p.m. and with respect to the TED live broadcast, that finishes at 8:30 p.m.

TED curator Chris Anderson responded to Cookson via email, saying the live outdoor screening was “intended as an act of generosity, not intrusion,” especially with the event’s $7,500 delegate fee.

“We’ve offered to share our content with people in Vancouver in a way that would allow ordinary citizens to get to experience some TED talks live,” wrote Anderson.

The debate has been ongoing since the completion of the newly renovated BC Place stadium. Initially, the roof lighting around BC Place facade was the major concern, but nowadays the spectacular lighting has been accepted by area residents. It illuminates the skyline and adds to the city’s urban environment as it provides necessary illumination in a city that is cold and grey for majority of the fall and winter months.

The same acceptance has not yet been reached for the giant billboards and screens, which are features that are designed to liven the entertainment zone around BC Place and Rogers Arena. They are still a contentious issue and the recent public broadcast of TED live has once again spurred discussion.

At the end of the day, there are disadvantages associated with living near a stadium, which can act as a central congregation space for a wide variety of people. The lights and sounds associated with such venues is not a new issue, and it should be expected that nearby residents took these concerns into consideration when deciding to move into a sports and entertainment zone, or any place in downtown for that matter.

 

 

 

 

Image: Ricky Shetty

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