Greenways: Making Vancouver a more walkable, bikeable city


Greenways provide beautiful urban connections to important destinations throughout Vancouver for pedestrians and cyclists.

Greenways enhance the experience of walking and cycling by including improvements like expanded parks, increased landscaping, public art, and drinking fountains.

Part of making Vancouver a greener and more sustainable place to live is making it more comfortable and attractive to walk or bike.

How greenways are different from bikeways

The primary goal of bikeways is to make cycling a safe and convenient mode of transportation, largely through traffic calming measures. 

While bicycle commuters will also use greenways, and many sections of the greenways and bikeways networks will overlap, recreational or less confident cyclists may feel more comfortable cycling along greenways.

Types of greenways

Related initiatives

There are 8 city greenways currently in progress:

There are no neighbourhood greenways under construction, but the City is always accepting proposals for neighbourhood greenways. See the page about neighbourhood greenways for details.

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

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.

Neighbourhood greenways

Neighborhood greenways are partially funded by the City, with the community providing funds or in-kind contributions to their planning, construction and maintenance.

Public consultation

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.

Contact us

To learn more about greenways, contact the Engineering Services Greenways Program.

320-507 West Broadway
Vancouver, BC
V5Z 0B4

Fax: 604-871-6193

Inquiries for cycling upgrades