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Animated Corridor

The Arbutus Greenway is a north-south transportation corridor that connects people, parks and places from False Creek to the Fraser River. The design concept envisions a vibrant and dynamic corridor for walking, wheeling, cycling, and a future streetcar line, that passes through eight distinct character zones.

Vancouver, BC

Intentional Transformation

In 2016, the City of Vancouver purchased the Arbutus Corridor from the Canadian Pacific Railway company. The intent was to transform the narrow strip of land into a publicly accessible greenway. The City and design team has held over 50 different events and had more than 7,000 "touchpoint" or interactions with stakeholders and members of the people. These interactions informed a design that answers the needs and wants of the community. The greenway stitches together a host of unique neighbourhoods, with pathways, social spaces for community gathering, edible landscapes and ‘wild’ natural spaces. This multi-modal transportation route crosses Indigenous traditional travel routes along the way, creating an opportunity to represent a cultural journey through wayfinding and public art.

A Journey and a Destination

The design concept re-imagines a deindustrialized rail corridor by providing high-quality, accessible public space for walking and cycling, as well as planning for a future streetcar route. The Arbutus Greenway is a journey, but it is also a destination. The greenway encourages movement along the corridor while providing magnetic spaces for rich social interactions and moments to pause and enjoy mountain views. In addition, the corridor provides opportunities to connect to larger city and community-building objectives, by strategically orienting public realm and transit infrastructure that ties into the City of Vancouver's urban fabric.

Community Character

The design team endeavored to highlight the distinct neighbourhoods that exist along the corridor, including Kitsilano, Arbutus Ridge, Shaughnessy, Kerrisdale and Marpole. Each character zone responds to unique neighbourhood characteristics, adjacent parks and existing landscape features such as views, mature trees and community gardens. Each character zone includes iconic features such as plazas, kiosks, architectural structures, seating elements, wayfinding features, and recreational amenities.

Zoning In

The corridor is connected from end to end with 8 zones that offer respite and are activated in ways that are specific to their immediate neighbourhood, thereby highlighting the various neighbourhoods which it runs through.

Sustainable Strategies

Integration with the City of Vancouver's Greenest City 2020 Action Plan, Biodiversity Strategy, Urban Forest Strategy, Vancouver Bird Strategy, Vancouver Food Strategy, Integrated Rainwater Management Plan, and Climate Change Adaptation Strategy.

Project facts

Client: The City of Vancouver
Size: 9 km
Concept Completion: July 2018

Achievements & Awards

Planning Institute of British Columbia (PIBC) Award of Excellence - Silver Winner - Excellence in Policy Planning - City & Urban Areas