Welcome to the Vancouver Plan!
Vancouver Plan at a Glance
Through a multi-year public engagement process, we heard unequivocally that residents want specific actions to create more housing, support the local economy, and address the climate crisis.
The Vancouver Plan addresses this feedback head-on for current and future residents through:
More Housing Options
By adding more housing options and housing density throughout the city, including multi-family homes, low-rise apartments, and rental housing options.
Over time, the Plan provides residents with access to more housing choices in all areas of the city, including in neighbourhoods that are rich in amenities like parks, community centres, and schools.
Complete, Connected Neighbourhoods
By expanding our transit network and building complete, connected, culturally vibrant neighbourhoods using the “15-minute city” principle so more people can walk, roll and ride to their daily activities and amenities, instead of driving.
The Plan builds on what we love about our neighbourhoods, like local businesses, arts, culture, valued amenities and public spaces.
Support for businesses
By creating more opportunities for shops, services and home-based businesses throughout the city and adding spaces for businesses and jobs close to where people live, on transit routes and within an easy commute.
The Plan Protects existing significant job spaces and industrial land which comprise 10% of the city’s land base, but yield 50% of the city’s jobs.
Addressing the climate crisis and restoring ecosystems
By lowering carbon emissions through more sustainable modes of transportation and denser housing options, restoring and expanding parks and green spaces throughout the city, and growing our tree canopy.
The Plan protects the city’s waterfronts and waterways, supporting indigenous practices and stewardship, making real space for nature.
Conceptual illustrations showing what different Vancouver neighbourhood types could look like across the city in the future.
How did we get here?
Early in 2019, City Council directed staff to undertake a planning process to create an overarching city-wide plan to guide growth and change, and to create a more consistent and unifying strategy for the future.
The Vancouver Plan is the result of four phases of extensive public engagement, as well as two years of technical analysis on a wide range of planning topics such as land use, climate and transportation.
The process started with a Listen and Learn (Phase 1) gathering of community ideas about the City we want, followed by identifying Key Directions (Phase 2), exploring options on Policy and Land Use Ideas (Phase 3), and presenting and Revising (Phase 4) the land use strategy, design directions, and 11 supporting policy areas.
Engagement by the Numbers:
online surveys available in at least six languages
meetings with stakeholder organizations and community groups
postcards mailed to businesses and residents city-wide
website views on vancouverplan.ca
+ impressions on social media posts
posters and advertisements throughout the city
Land Use Strategy
The Land Use Strategy guides growth and demonstrates how change within Vancouver’s business districts, industrial areas and neighbourhoods can help meet the housing and employment needs of new and existing residents. It proposes a more balanced approach to urban development that will address goals of livability, affordability, and sustainability.
The land use strategy will:
• Direct new housing choices to low density residential areas rich in amenities and add opportunities for new amenities and services in areas that are currently underserved.
• Reinforce Vancouver’s role as the cultural and economic centre of the region, while managing growth to prioritize the health, happiness, and well-being of residents.
• Encourage more sustainable and inclusive urban living by enabling affordable housing and jobs within an easy walk or roll of transit.
• Strengthen existing and support new neighbourhood centres by incorporating Missing Middle housing into clusters of local shops, flexible work spaces, childcare, public spaces, and arts and culture venues.
• Create an integrated network of public spaces, ecological corridors, greenways and active modes of travel (walking, rolling, and biking).
• Make space for ecology to function at the site, neighbourhood and city-wide scale.
Examples of building types in the Metro Core/Broadway, Municipal Town Centre, Rapid Transit Area, Neighbourhood Centre, Village, Multiplex Area.
Neighbourhood TypesAs 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.
Principal centre of business, employment, cultural, and entertainment activity for the city and region.
Key Direction: Reinforce Metro Core/Broadway’s role as the principal centre of business, employment,
cultural, and entertainment activity for the city and the region
Municipal Town Centre
Second only in regional importance to the Metro Core/Broadway area, Oakridge MTC has excellent access to rapid transit and will support a dense mix of housing, jobs and amenities.
Key Direction: An inclusive, mixed-use centre with significant housing and jobs space, services and amenities
Rapid Transit Areas
Existing and future rapid transit areas will grow to accommodate more employment uses and a wide range of housing options, including rental and social housing.
Key Direction: Reinforce vibrant, mixed-use 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
Oriented around existing local shopping streets, these neighbourhoods will accommodate more housing choice in the future.
Key Direction: Enhance Neighbourhood Centres as successful, mixed-use neighbourhoods with vibrant local shopping areas, green and leafy residential streets, a wide range of housing options, and supportive amenities
These areas will add shops and services to primarily residential neighbourhoods and add Missing Middle housing nearby.
Key Direction: Strengthen low density residential neighbourhoods by adding shops, services and housing choice to provide more complete, inclusive and resilient neighbourhoods
Multiplexes will be enabled in all neighbourhoods across the city
Key Direction: Evolve Vancouver’s low density residential areas to enable smaller scale Missing Middle housing across the city. Respect the local character of neighbourhoods while adding housing choice, local-serving shops and services, and home-based business opportunities
Key Policies – By TopicTo 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:
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.
Vision for 2050
Vancouver is 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
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.
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.
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 IdeasThree Big Ideas are aspirational ways of growing and changing Vancouver to reflect community priorities. These Big Ideas provide guidance to the land use strategy and direction for the development of policies for each of the component parts of the Plan.
Equitable Housing and Complete Neighbourhoods
- • Ensure more affordable housing choices are available to ease the housing affordability crisis
- • Transform low density neighbourhoods to include housing choice for all income groups and family types
- • Leverage transit investments to support growing neighbourhoods
- • Protect neighbourhood assets, like affordable rental housing, local businesses, arts and culture, and places for social gatherings
- • Create more complete, walkable neighbourhoods by adding services and amenities like childcare, plazas, community facilities and access to affordable and nutritious food.
An Economy that Works for All
- • Reinforce Vancouver’s role as the regional job centre by building on economic strengths and welcoming value-aligned investment, workers and employers
- • Protect, expand and support industrial/employment areas, business districts, campus institutions, and a broad and diverse base of jobs and services
- • Encourage a diverse and accessible mix of localserving and small businesses and jobs in all neighbourhoods
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.
Now that the Vancouver Plan has been approved, it is the City’s strategic land use framework, guiding more detailed plans and policies to come.
Council-approved motions directing staff to consider how renter protections and developer contributions will be included as part of the implementation of this Plan.