What are greenways?
Many people think about greenways in the traditional sense of nature trails or pathways through natural areas or along waterfronts. In Vancouver, greenways are that and much more.
Greenways in Vancouver are linear public corridors for pedestrians and cyclists that connect parks, nature reserves, cultural features, historic sites, neighbourhoods and retail areas.
Vancouver Greenways can be waterfront promenades, urban walks, environmental demonstration trails, heritage walks and nature trails. Greenways expand opportunities for urban recreation, provide alternate ways to move through the city, and enhance the experience of nature, community and city life.
Who pays for greenways?
City greenways are normally paid for from the City's capital budget, the funds approved by Vancouver voters at municipal election time.
Other funds may come available through other levels of government programs, donations, non-profit agencies or business associations.
The construction and maintenance of some greenways are negotiated through development approval processes at no cost to the City.
Neighborhood greenways are partially funded by the City, with the community providing funds or in-kind contributions to their planning, construction and maintenance.
Whenever greenway development is proposed, there will be significant consultation with residents along and adjacent to the routes prior to design development.
Greenways have a legacy dating back to the Bartholomew Plan of 1928, with Harland Bartholomew's vision of a continuous waterfront parkway from Stanley Park around False Creek.
The inspiration for today's greenways came from the work of the Mayor's Urban Landscape Task Force, appointed by Council in 1991, and chaired by Landscape Architect Moura Quayle.
Their final report, Greenways-Public Ways, extended the traditional definition of Greenways to include streets in the downtown - the Public Ways - and streets in Vancouver's residential neighborhoods. (A copy of this report can be purchased at City Hall - 453 West 12th Avenue, Vancouver, BC, V5Y 1V4).
After city-wide public consultation, the Vancouver Greenways Plan was approved by Council in July 1995. The plan and program are comprised of two important components: city greenways and neighbourhood greenways.