Advocacy, education and outreach in support of Vancouver's public spaces


December 8, 2016 at 3:23 PM

Tagged with

Robson Square update: City releases “high level concept” for 800-block

One Comment  |  Leave a comment
Robson Square redesign concept

Robson Square redesign concept

Exciting news! The City has just released their high level concept for the redesign of the 800-block (and expansion of Robson Square). It was prepared by the a design team that included Nick Milkovich Archtects, Hapa Collaborative and Studio Parsons. By and large, it’s very encouraging… and reflects many of the ideas that the VPSN provided to the team earlier this year. Another step forward for the revitalization of this important public space!

Here’s the media release that was just sent out:

Flexible and adaptable public plaza planned for 800 Robson

Today the City of Vancouver is releasing a high level design concept for the future plaza at 800 Robson Street. Feedback received from residents, businesses, visitors, plaza users, area partners and stakeholders during consultation was used to inform the design concept, which is meant to be flexible and adaptable to accommodate the wide range of uses on the site. Staff is expected to present the design concept to Council on Wednesday, December 14th.

Between September 12 and December 5 staff engaged and consulted with over 2,200 people through various methods and heard a broad range of ideas and suggestions for the plaza design and use. In addition to reinforcing the city-wide and regional significance of this space, the design concept includes:

  • Ensuring the space remains highly flexible and responsive to accommodate a wide variety of uses and events, while maintaining passage through the space,
  • Creating a single level surface by filling in the road with pavers that are consistent with the surrounding Robson Square precinct, and
  • Defining the block ends in a combination of street furniture and landscaping.


The design for the plaza will be integrated into the surrounding street network through improvements to the 700 and 900 blocks of Robson Street towards Burrard and Granville Streets, and along Hornby Street towards Smithe and West Georgia Streets. Levelling the street, defining the block ends, and improving the connection with adjacent blocks and intersections will create a consistent base upon which additional details will be added.

  • Elements like movable and permanent seating, lighting, signage, bike parking, public bike share, and other street furniture will be incorporated into the final design.
  • Access to site services such as power and water will be integrated into the detailed design to support programming such as events, public art, street vending, and food carts.
  • Two fully accessible automated public washrooms will be available around the Robson Square precinct; in the North Plaza and on the 700 block of Robson Street.
  • Wayfinding will be incorporated to help navigate and promote key attractions and elements.

The construction of the plaza is expected to start in 2017. The project will cost approximately $6.5 million which includes the detailed design and construction of the plaza, development and implementation of the plaza stewardship strategy, and improvements to the 700 and 900 blocks of Robson Street as well as Hornby Street. Further public engagement will continue as City staff undertake this work.

Earlier this year, Vancouver City Council voted to create a permanent city-serving destination plaza at 800 Robson Street that reflects the diversity of Vancouver and its users at 800 Robson Street.

Learn more about this project and read the Council report and consultation summary at

Post a comment

Your email address will not be displayed

Sign up for our newsletter


Terry Cassils says...

Will the now defunct 3-level waterfalls on the south side be up and running again?

Recent Posts

Monthly Meetup: An Update on Transportation 2040 – What’s Happened & What’s Next?
January 15, 2019

Happy Holidays + Best Wishes for 2019
December 24, 2018

121,000 wasted ballots in Vancouver? No thanks! We’re voting for Proportional Representation
November 20, 2018