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Cover of draft Vancouver Plan

The Vancouver Plan is a long-term strategy to support growth to 2050 and beyond. It is Vancouver’s first unified city-wide plan to create a more livable, affordable and sustainable city.

Draft Plan at a Glance

The draft Plan proposes to:

  • Identify where future growth and change will take place over the long-term
  • Add more housing options to all areas of the city, including townhouse and multiplexes (also known as Missing Middle housing), and rental housing
  • Build our neighbourhoods around people by making them more complete and connected, enabling more people to walk/roll for access to daily needs and amenities
  • Make our city more climate resilient by restoring ecosystems and protecting our green space and tree canopy
  • Support businesses of all sizes and protect industrial areas, creating more opportunities for new shops, services, and home based businesses throughout the city
  • Advance Reconciliation with the Nations and urban Indigenous Peoples with continued consultation and collaboration in plan implementation

Vancouver Plan Future Neighbourhoods - Shopping Areas
Vancouver Plan Future Neighbourhoods - Light Industrial
Vancouver Plan Future Neighbourhoods - Mixed Residential with Natural Systems
Vancouver Plan Future Neighbourhoods - Low Density Residential
Vancouver Plan Future Neighbourhoods - Transit Station
Vancouver Plan Future Neighbourhoods - Shopping Areas
Vancouver Plan Future Neighbourhoods - Light Industrial
Vancouver Plan Future Neighbourhoods - Mixed Residential with Natural Systems
Vancouver Plan Future Neighbourhoods - Low Density Residential
Vancouver Plan Future Neighbourhoods - Transit Station
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Conceptual illustrations showing what different Vancouver neighbourhood types could look like across the city in the future.

Why do we need the Vancouver Plan?

  • The City needs a single, unified plan to help guide our growth, development and daily decisions. This is our opportunity to shape bold solutions and create a city where current and future generations can thrive.
  • The Region is changing. Metro Vancouver and TransLink are updating their long-range plans, and Vancouver Plan is our opportunity to align with our regional partners.
  • We have an opportunity to reflect on what we learned during the COVID-19 pandemic, as we take stock of what matters most and plan our future.
  • The City has adopted bold plans to address both the climate and affordability crises, and the Plan provides an opportunity to land these on the ground.

How did we get here?

Over the past two years of engagement, you’ve told us that you want an actionable plan for a city that is inclusive, diverse, and works for everyone.

The process has gone through several phases – each weaving together public input and technical analysis. As part of our work to date, we gathered community ideas about the City we want (“Listen and Learn” Phase 1), identified Key Directions (Phase 2), and most recently focused on Policy and Land Use Ideas (Phase 3).

Members of the public viewing the Vancouver Plan engagement boards in a public space

Land Use Strategy

We need to be strategic about what we do and where we do it. That is the purpose of the Land Use Strategy.

Where will the city grow and change?

The draft Plan proposes a new way for the city to grow, spreading more housing options across all neighbourhoods instead of concentrating them in a few areas, or along major streets. This will make our city far more equitable.

Along with more shops, services, and other amenities, it will also make our neighbourhoods more livable, walkable and enjoyable for many more people. This will mean that people can walk or roll to most of the things they need in their daily life.

The land use strategy in the draft Vancouver Plan does not create any development rights. The included maps are for illustrative and engagement purposes only. They will be changed and refined in future phases of work. The Vancouver Plan is not a rezoning enabling policy and the City will not consider development inquiries based upon the policy illustrations.

Vancouver Plan Land Use Slide - Neighbourhood Types
Vancouver Plan Land Use Slide - Economy
Vancouver Plan Land Use Slide - Ecology
Vancouver Plan Land Use Slide1
Vancouver Plan Land Use Slide2
Vancouver Plan Land Use Slide3
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The Land Use Strategy builds upon key elements of our existing city fabric. Our built environment is made up of buildings, streets, open spaces like parks and plazas, and infrastructure. These elements come together to make the recognizable neighbourhoods and precincts we find in Vancouver today. They are linked by movement networks, such as transit corridors or greenways, and served by critical infrastructure for waste disposal, water and energy.

By reading these layers together, we can identify opportunities for co-benefits, avoid potential conflicts and ensure coordination between the various City departments and with key Partners for effective implementation of the Land Use Strategy.

Neighbourhood Types

As shown in the map and legend above, the Vancouver Plan describes different Neighbourhood Types, each that advances a Key Direction. The neighbourhood areas also have additional policies related to housing, jobs, buildings, nature, public realm, and other topics.
Vancouver Plan Neighbourhood Type - Core

Metro Core

(including Downtown and central Broadway)
The principal centre of business, employment, cultural, and entertainment activity for the city and the region. Also, an area with significant housing, including affordable and non-market rental homes.

Key Direction: Continue to reinforce Metro Core’s role as the principle centre of business, employment, cultural and entertainment activity for the city and region by updating and implementing detailed neighbourhood plans and policies.

Vancouver Plan Neighbourhood Type - Municipal town centre

Municipal Town Centre

An important centre for housing and employment, amenities and services.

Key Direction: Ensure this area continues to transform to become a more inclusive centre with significant housing and jobs space.

Vancouver Plan Neighbourhood Type - Transit

Rapid Transit Areas

Areas that are within a 10 minute walk of a rapid transit station or corridor (SkyTrain or Canada Line Station or rapid bus).

Key Direction: Reinforce vibrant neighbourhoods providing more opportunities for purpose-built rental and social housing, childcare, community infrastructure, arts and culture uses, together with public spaces that allow people to connect.

Vancouver Plan Neighbourhood Type - Shopping

Neighbourhood Centres

The areas in and around existing local shopping streets.

Key Direction: Enhance Neighbourhood Centres as successful neighbourhoods with vibrant local shopping areas, green and leafy residential streets, and a wide range of housing options.

Vancouver Plan Neighbourhood Type - Village

Villages

The areas in and around smaller commercial areas and community uses that provide local jobs, daily needs, and community place-making and social connection.

Key Direction: Strengthen lower density residential neighbourhoods by adding shops, services and housing choice to provide more complete, inclusive and resilient neighbourhoods.

Vancouver Plan Neighbourhood Type - Multiplex

Multiplex Areas

These will allow single-family homes, in addition to townhouses and multiplexes (also known as Missing Middle), with opportunities for secured rental buildings, local shops and services, and home based businesses.

Key Direction: Evolve our low density residential areas to enable smaller scale Missing Middle housing (including multiplexes) across the city, respecting the local character of our neighbourhoods while adding housing choice, local shops and services and opportunities for home-based businesses.

Key Policies – By Topic

To support the overall Land Use Strategy, the Vancouver Plan contains 11 policy chapters covering key city building topics. Each chapter contains a Vision statement, as well as key policy directions and supporting policies. Click on a topic below to learn more:

1. Housing

Vancouver Plan Economy Policy

2. Economy

3. Climate

Vancouver Plan Ecology Policy

4. Ecology

6. Childcare

Vancouver Plan Community Infrastructure Policy

7. Community Infrastructure

Vancouver Plan Arts and Culture Policy

8. Arts, Culture, Heritage

Vancouver Plan Policy - Public Space

9. Public Spaces

Vancouver Plan Policy - Water and watersheds

10. Watershed & Water Resources

Vancouver Plan Policy - Food Systems

11. Food Systems

Plan Foundations and Big Ideas

The Vancouver Plan is centered around a Vision for 2050, three Foundational Principles and three Big Ideas. These elements are the core of the Plan and are woven throughout the Plan.

Through our Phase 3 engagement work, we heard high levels of support for both Foundational Principles and Big Ideas, and the elements of the vision statement.

Vision for 2050

Vancouver will be a city that lives in greater balance with our ecological systems while providing more complete, inclusive and resilient neighbourhoods where people of all ages, incomes, abilities and backgrounds thrive.

The Foundational Principles

 

Reconciliation

We will continue to form relationships of mutual respect and understanding with xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations and urban Indigenous communities, integrating Indigenous perspectives in planning and decision-making processes.

Equity

We will advance an equitable approach to planning, where the benefits of growth and change are distributed across neighbourhoods, with particular attention to equity-denied groups, so that everyone has the chance to thrive.

Resilience

We will proactively plan for an uncertain future so we can withstand, adapt, recover, and thrive in the face of shocks like earthquakes and climate change impacts, and reduce stresses like affordability and inequities.

 

The Three Big Ideas

Vancouver Plan Big Ideas - Equitable Housing

Equitable Housing and Complete Neighbourhoods

  • • Ensure more affordable housing options to ease the housing affordability crisis
  • • Transform low density areas to include housing options for everyone
  • • Leverage transit investments to support growing neighbourhoods
  • • Protect what we love about our neighbourhoods and what matters most like affordable rental housing, local businesses, arts and culture, and places and spaces where we come together
  • • Create more complete, walkable neighbourhoods across the city by adding more of the things a growing city needs like childcare, plazas, and community facilities.

Vancouver Plan Big Ideas - Economy

An Economy that Works for All

  • • Help Vancouver continue to thrive as the regional job centre by building on our economic strengths and welcoming value-aligned investment, workers and employers
  • • Protect, expand and support industrial/employment areas, business districts, and campus institutions and the diversity of jobs and activities they support
  • • Encourage a diverse and accessible mix of local-serving and small businesses and jobs in every neighbourhood
  • • Create a supportive business environment by updating City regulations to remove barriers and improve access to City services for everyone.

Vancouver Plan Big Ideas - Ecology

Climate Protection and Restored Ecosystems

  • • Create people-first streets that are safe, attractive, and support people walking, rolling, biking, and taking transit
  • • Support construction and building methods that reduce energy consumption as we move towards a zero carbon city
  • • Support Indigenous, land-based cultural practices, stewardship, and learning
  • • Protect waterfronts and waterways
  • • Make space for nature, protect habitat, and ensure healthy, thriving ecosystems
  • • Design our infrastructure (water, sewer, drainage, shoreline protection) with nature in mind
  • • Plant more trees in areas of the city with limited tree coverage to take advantage of all the natural benefits trees provide.

Grandparents with their grandchild at an outdoor piano in Vancouver, BC

Draft Vancouver Plan Supplementary Documents

Data, Maps and Graphics

Directions in the Vancouver Plan were created using several inputs, including engagement, approved Council policy, technical analysis and data. This document highlights some of the key data inputs used. This data helps identify what is working well, and what is not working well. It has directly influenced the policy directions in the Plan. Its purpose is to help the reader better understand the topics covered in the Vancouver Plan.

Glossary

This document lists and defines terms found in the Vancouver Plan.

What’s Next?

From April 5 to April 27 we presented the draft Vancouver Plan for public feedback through an online survey available in eight languages. Thank you to everyone who took time to provide input.

We are now summarizing the results and we will report back the findings in May.

Your feedback will be shared with City Council as part of their decision on the Vancouver Plan in June 2022, with more detailed input to be considered as part of the Plan’s future implementation.

Beginning in the summer 2022, the Implementation phase will develop the strategies and tools to achieve our shared vision.

The strategy will:

  • Guide how our existing community plans and other area plans connect to the Vancouver Plan
  • Guide how we sequence future, detailed area planning across the city, including associated infrastructure and financial plans
  • Enable us to track towards our long-term goals