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Vancouver city council approves creation of public square on Robson Street

Robson Square in downtown Vancouver, B.C. Robson Square website

Vancouver City Council voted Wednesday to permanently close a section of Robson Street to motor vehicles and buses to create a public square in the heart of downtown Vancouver.

According to the City, Robson Square — which consists of the stretch of Robson between Howe Street and Hornby Street — was originally designed to be closed to vehicles to create a “central gathering space” similar to London’s Trafalgar Square, Toronto’s Dundas Square and Portland’s Pioneer Courthouse Square.

According to the City of Vancouver, more pedestrians than drivers travel through the block and the creation of a permanent public square will “encourage year-round programming.”

Over the last few years, the city has experimented with closing Robson Square and it says the success of those events demonstrated the need for a permanent public space.

The Robson Square complex will be the largest public space in the downtown core, with 121,000 square metres for public use.

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As part of the Council’s approval, staff will be looking to the public for feedback on the design and implementation of the funding and programming in the area.

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