Vancouver, British Columbia
Photo Credit: City of Vancouver Archives
Initial Research by: Desiree Theriault
Continued Research by: Samantha Miller
Edited by: Nicole Brekelmans
Case study compiled in 2017
Project: Robson Square
Type of Urban Strategy: Smart Cities
Type of Project: Square / Plaza
Location: Vancouver, British Columbia
Date Designed/Planned: 1973
Construction Completed: 1979
Designer: Arthur Erickson & Cornelia Oberlander
Robson Square, designed by Arthur Erickson with landscape designed by Cornelia Oberlander in the 1970s, was a massive project to create a space solely for people to gather as a public urban space. Located in the heart of Downtown Vancouver, the designers wanted a revitalized public space in the area connecting the Provincial Law Courts, UBC Downtown campus, a major shopping district, and the Vancouver Art Gallery.
Since the revitalization project, Robson Square has been one of the best areas in the city to host free organized activities, group gatherings and a great place for students to gather. The designers were battling with the City of Vancouver in trying to make the space permanently closed to vehicular traffic to keep the area one hundred percent pedestrian-oriented, but now that it is entirely closed, it remains an excellent place for pedestrians to walk, sit, or cycle through.