Arbutus Greenway, City of Vancouver, British Columbia


The City of Vancouver acquired the Arbutus Corridor in March 2016 from the Canadian Pacific Railway. The 8.8-kilometre stretch runs from the False Creek area to the Fraser River, on the unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations. The purchase kicked off plans to transform the corridor

into a world-class transportation greenway for citizens, connecting neighbourhoods and parks, ecological enhancements, public art, innovative technologies and more.

Greenway Development
Given its proximity to several high-volume traffic corridors, the greenway is strategically placed to provide a safe, green option for citizens using it as either a commuter channel or a recreational path. The first phase in the greenway development process was the construction of an interim asphalt pathway for public use along this stretch, ranging in width along the entire length and approximately five meters wide, with a painted line separating the pathway into a 2.5-meter walking area and a 2.5-meter cycling area.

About the Project

Safety & Accessibility
While plans for the corridor’s ultimate design continue to progress, the City and feedback from its public engagement sessions expressed the need for upgrades that would help make the Arbutus Greenway’s current iteration safe and accessible, with sufficient lighting for commuters to be able to comfortably use it after sundown.

The purpose of this project was to pilot a longterm solution for the entire corridor on a 900-meter-long section of the current pathway, spanning from W 33rd Ave. to W 37th Ave.–a stretch that currently has limited ambient lighting.

Bright Illumination
To do this, the City sought out an energy-efficient, reliable, low maintenance and cost-effective solar lighting system that has the capacity to provide bright illumination throughout the night and year-round.


Recommendation Led By Experience
Urban Solar’s team customized a solution to meet the City’s need for solar illumination in any season, despite the challenges posed by Vancouver’s cloudy winters. Drawing on the team’s extensive experience providing lighting for infrastructure applications, and taking note of the greenway’s unique characteristics, Urban Solar installed a series of Solar LED Lighting (SLL) units at appropriate spots along the path, providing the bright, consistent light needed for pedestrians, cyclists and others to travel safely along the pathway without spilling into adjacent private properties.

Controllable & Maintainable
Self-contained and remotely controllable, this lighting system also checked off the City’s requirements for a cost-efficient and easily maintainable solution. All of this means that the new solar lighting system will remain vibrant and reliable as this essential arterial greenway continues to connect Vancouver communities in the years to come.

Summary of the City's Supply Needs
  1. Receipt of quality products at the best total value.
  2. Fabrication, supply, installation, wiring and other services meeting or exceeding industry standards.
  3. Shortest lead-time and on-time deliveries at the lowest cost to the City.
  4. Consistent product quality and specification.
  5. Superior level of customer service.
  6. Warranty coverage as per the request for proposals.
How the Solar Lighting Design Contributes to Sustainability
  1. Contribute to healthy and socially-connected communities.
  2. Encourage active living for people of all ages and abilities.
  3. Support the City’s ongoing economic well-being.
  4. Support the healthy development of the urban forest.
  5. Enable social engagement and multigenerational interaction.
  6. Use and/or generate innovative design approaches and progressive technologies that are sustainable and operationally feasible.
  7. Anticipate sustainable construction, maintenance and operations practices.

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