02/12/2013 09:14 EST | Updated 04/14/2013 05:12 EDT

Vancouver Food Carts Plan Would Emulate Portland

Vancouver city council is mulling whether or not to adopt the model used in Portland, Ore., for staging food carts outside downtown — a plan that could see parking lots converted into outdoor food courts.

There are 103 licensed food vendors on Vancouver streets, but most of them stick to the downtown core.

Councillor Heather Deal hopes to lure vendors away by creating small hubs for food carts in different areas of the city.

“You might have a private parking lot that has, say, 10 carts on it that are there on a regular basis, say, like every single day in the summer,” Deal told CBC News.

The idea is known as the "Portland Model."

That city has large, privately-owned parking lots that rent out spaces for food carts, which makes it easy for foot-traffic to stop, and grab a bite to eat.

City staff have yet to determined which neighbourhoods in Vancouver would suit the pilot project.

“It has to be a place where food carts can survive,” said Deal.

“So there has to be a lot of people around, there has to be good population, or schools nearby — something that draws a lot of people.”

City staff is expected to submit a report on revised food cart locations to council in the next few months.

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