RICHMOND, BC- The proposed redevelopment of a small City Centre park includes parking spaces designed to accommodate a growing culinary trend—food trucks.

Lang Park, built in the late-1990s at Saba and Buswell roads, is slated for a child-friendly makeover that will mesh with the changing demographics in the neighbourhood. Play structures and water play features are part of the redesign.

“The Lang Park redevelopment concept plan represents a major renovation to Lang Park, one intended to provide a park that better meets the community’s needs,” noted Kevin Connery, park planner, in a report.

Two open houses were held to land on the design, and a city council committee endorsed the $800,000 project last week. But it’s still subject to formal council approval.

Proposed is a food truck parking zone along Buswell Street. The area would be dedicated to food trucks for the first year after park renovations are complete “to determine if the increasing popularity of food trucks is a good fit,” noted Connery.

City council had earlier hoped to attract food trucks to the intersection of No. 3 Road and Westminster Highway but got few bites. Without room to accommodate modern food trucks, calls to vendors drew just two food stands: Japadog and a roasted chestnut cart.

City hall has since fielded calls from several food truck operators wanting to set up elsewhere in Richmond, and in June pledged to explore new opportunities for mobile vendors.

Meanwhile licensed food trucks are free to operate on private property—by agreement with the landowner. Some have, at Richmond’s night markets. Among them is Mogu, a Japanese street eats truck run by Yuji and Kumiko Aoko featured on this season’s Eat St, a Canadian Food Network TV show.

“It is getting stronger, the food truck culture,” said Yuji Aoko in a recent interview with Black Press. “It really allows for my own creativity to come through and it was allowing me to serve the kind of food I can serve in my style.”

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