What Are Country Lanes?

Country Lanes were established as part of a citywide pilot project in 2002 - 2003. 

Three conventional laneways were replaced with Country Lanes,  permeable, stabilized and drivable surfaces which allow for the retention of up to 90% of rainfall preventing runoff from entering the city's storm sewer system, both reducing the load on city infrastructure and preventing particulate from entering important fish habitat. 

Cement or Asphalt surfaces are replaced with 2 parallel cement strips wide enough to drive on. The rest of the surface consists of grass stabilized with hexagonal plastic grids. 


Despite being widely hailed as a success, and wining an international design award, the project was, for all intents and purposes, abandoned due to cost. 

The project is still listed on the City of Vancouver's webpage as an example of integrated storm water management  despite no new country lanes being implemented since the 2003 pilot.

More Information

Administrative Report from City Archives detailing the Country Lanes Project, July 9th 2002: http://council.vancouver.ca/020709/A5.htm

The City's Submission for the UBCM Community Excellence Awards: http://www.civicinfo.ca/practices_innovations/vancouver_country_lanes.pdf

City Farmer Article Aug 4th 2003: City Farmer's Country Lane Reduces Rain Water Discharge to Vancouver's Storm Sewers

City Resident Mike Klassen's Presentation Jan 20th 2009: In Support of Country Lanes

National Post July 2nd 2013: Forgotten ‘country lane’ experiment could be answer to Vancouver's desire for more green space

Vancouver Observer July 8th 2013: Country Lanes: Vancouver's forgotten urban gardens

Vancouver Courier July 10 2013: Community Correspondent: Vancouver's country lanes turn ten

Price Tags: Perspectives from Vancouver July 6th 2016: The Rise and Fall of the Country Lane

Where Are Country Lanes?