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Path to a greener future

Public consultation was at the heart of developing the designs and we worked with city staff on planning community engagement and outreach activities.

Project Arbutus Greenway, Vancouver, Canada

ClientCity of Vancouver

ExpertiseTransportation planning

A 9km stretch of disused freight and passenger rail corridor in Vancouver is being turned into a multimodal greenway over the next 15 years with spaces for clean travel, gatherings, physical activity and enjoying nature and scenic views. It connects neighbourhoods, green spaces and popular destinations, such as schools, libraries and community centres, from False Creek in the north to the Fraser River in the south. After city authorities purchased the land in 2016, the rails were removed and a temporary path for walking, cycling and rolling was installed so residents could explore the route and consider its future potential.

Our team of engineers, planners, architects, landscape experts, designers, artists and specialists examined how the permanent pathway can best integrate with the community, places along the route, as well as different mobility options. The Greenway is being developed in eight ‘character’ zones – the first two are expected to open in 2022 – and will feature inviting landscaping, plazas and gathering spaces, urban agriculture, public art, and indigenous design. The project also looks to the future and plans to introduce a streetcar along the Greenway – encouraging even more of Vancouver’s growing population to leave the car at home.

The Greenway improves access to green spaces, parks and community gardens, and encourages physical activity, such as walking and cycling, as well as being outdoors – all good for health and wellbeing.

9km

 pathway linking south and north Vancouver for walkers and cyclists

Families, people with disabilities and urban aboriginal peoples were consulted widely, with measures taken to hear from every relevant demographic, and their input incorporated into the design concepts. As a City of Reconciliation, the designs recognise the history and cultural diversity of the lands, including the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh nations, and an indigenous architect was part of our team.

Vancouver’s commitment to 50% of trips in the city being taken on foot, bicycle or public transit underpins the Greenway. Community hubs, such as Harvest Table, designed for people to come together in zone 1 over urban agriculture activities and food, are dotted along the route, supporting inclusive and sustainable neighbourhoods.

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