‘Vancouver Plan’ approved by council

A big plan to chart the future of development in Vancouver is now approved.

On Friday, city council gave the green light to the “Vancouver Plan,” a blueprint for city planning through 2050. It provides guidance on housing and how neighbourhoods will be laid out.

The idea is to interconnect the areas in one, long-term plan.

The Vancouver plan includes five different neighbourhood types: Metro Core/Broadway, Rapid Transit Area, Neighbourhood Centre, Village, and Multiplex Area.

vancouver plan

(Source: vancouverplan.ca)

Metro Core/Broadway is outlined as a “principal centre of business, employment, cultural, and entertainment activity,” whereas Rapid Transit Areas are expected to “grow to accommodate more employment uses and a wide range of housing options, including rental and social.”

The plan says Neighbourhood Centres will be “oriented around existing local shopping streets” and will “accommodate more housing choice in the future.” Meanwhile, Villages will “add shops and services to primarily residential neighbourhoods.”

Multiplex Areas will be “enabled in all neighbourhoods” with the direction that they “respect the local character of neighbourhoods.”

While the plan itself involves broad-based city planning, it does not change any existing bylaws.

Read more: Vancouver 2050 plan before council, critic slams housing promises

UBC professor Patrick Condon, who teaches in the urban design program, has been critical of the plan. He has previously told OMNI News the city is too attractive to investors and allowing massive redevelopment projects risks putting affordability even further out of reach.

“The plan shows every indication of making it worse by opening up every neighborhood in the city to speculation,” he said earlier this month. “The plan seems to naively believe that just adding new housing units is going to fix the affordability problem.”

Condon says the city has already added more housing units per capita than any other city in Canada and the U.S. He argues that should make Vancouver the cheapest place for housing in North America, but that’s clearly not the case.

The plan does say speculation is a part of the rise in land prices, but adds growing demand for homes is another factor.

Mayor Kennedy Stewart is praising the plan and its passage, saying it will ensure a new path forward for the city.

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The city recently spent days taking public comment on the Broadway Plan, which is a shift in planning priorities along the Broadway corridor.

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