Draft Vancouver Plan Survey Walkthrough

The draft Vancouver Plan is out! It seeks to be a guiding vision for creating a greener and more affordable, vibrant and equitable city. It is just a rough sketch, not a detailed plan for specific streets and neighbourhoods. To become useful, it has to get through multiple stages of approvals and detailed planning and policy development. Right now, your support will help the best parts of the vision get approved by Council, and maybe even win some improvements! But hurry, the survey closes April 24th!

Vancouver Plan Land Use Map

When answering the survey (scroll down on the linked page to choose your survey language), we recommend choosing either "Strongly Agree" or "Somewhat Agree" for basically everything. Disagreement will most likely be interpreted as wanting to do less rather than wanting to do more. The text boxes at the bottom of every page let you say exactly what improvements you would like to see. Read on for more detailed suggestions of how to answer each question!

Background. Part 1:

There's nothing to fill out here, just skim and click through.

Part 2: Land Use Strategy:

We recommend choosing "All of the Above", many questions are inter-related.

City-Wide Land Use Direction:

Recommend "Strongly Agree". Possible comments:

The value of "directing growth" is assumed but often not demonstrated. In practice, planning that involves long consultation processes, especially area plans followed by rezoning applications for individual buildings, provide very little real insight and function mostly as a forum for rallying opposition that is disproportionately wealthy, older, and comfortably-housed, while being so cumbersome that needed change never comes as fast as it is needed.

Neighbourhood Types - Background:

Agree. Possible comments:

- There should not be Multiplex Areas, every residential lot can accommodate apartment buildings.

- The current Secured Rental Policy is not fair to renters and should be expanded so that apartments do not have to be very near to busy arterial streets.

- It would be more equitable if exclusive places like Shaughnessy saw the most growth.

- These directions are vague and once they are filtered down into area plans the best parts may not survive.

Urban Design Policies - Overall Form of the City:

Agree. Possible comments:

- Distinct neighbourhoods and scales can arise naturally and do not need to be strictly planned as housing and services will generally be built to meet people's needs and reflect the quantity and types of housing that people want

- Area plans are too static and restrictive.

- Connected parks and a mix of housing and tenures sounds great.

- Expanding commercial onto side streets from current commercial streets, combined with large population increases on side streets to help support businesses and good transit, may be a more practical approach than trying to make some commercial arterial streets much nicer places to walk.

- Some commercial arterials could possibly be refocused more towards office and industrial. Some retailers need to be large but could possibly be concentrated on 2nd and higher floors.

Urban Design Policies - Commercial Areas:

Agree. Possible Comments:

- "Adequate sunlight" is wasted on mostly cars on busy arterials. It will be really difficult to make busy arterial streets, like Hastings, safer, healthier, and comfortable, and may not be worth the effort compared to creating new "lighter" commercial areas on the adjacent streets and laneways, e.g. have restaurants on side streets but larger storefronts, light industrial, and retailers on the arterials.

- A mix of small storefronts and larger ones, which could possibly be located on 2nd floors, is needed for complete, walkable neighbourhoods, e.g. grocery stores.

Urban Design Policies - Buildings and Sites:

Agree. Possible Comments:

- This seems like micromanagement and too many overlapping priorities.

- Parks & schools need sunlight, but it's not bad and sometimes good for parts of a park to be shaded while others receive sunlight at different times of day.

- In areas that are changing a lot or quickly, it may be better to transition existing buildings to be complementary to larger buildings than the other way around.

- Where more plazas and open spaces are needed maybe the City should just build them as true public spaces.

- There is a great deal here that could be too discretionary or vague and could discourage home building due to uncertainty and complexity.


Recommend choosing Childcare, Climate, Housing, SPECIAL TOPIC - Multiplexes, Transportation, and any others of interest to you.

Part 3. Climate:

Agree. Possible Comments:

- The biggest thing Vancouver can do to reduce global carbon emissions is allow many more people to live here, especially in walkable/roll-able complete communities, instead of being pushed into car-dependent sprawl.

- This plan is moving too slow and the implementation is too complicated for Vancouver to achieve its 2030 climate goal for complete communities. Planning needs to be accelerated.

- Allowing more people to live in Vancouver, sooner, will help support better public transit and active transit.

- Current hurdles to building the lowest emission homes, like low/mid-rise apartments, make it so we mostly get just detached houses and concentrated towers. Vancouver needs to prioritize the most climate-friendly housing types and we are still doing the opposite.

Part 3. Watershed/Water Resources:


Part 3. SPECIAL TOPIC: Multiplexes – Council motion to explore up to 6 units on a lot:

Recommend: "Something Else (please specify)": Have policies to incentivize building without basements but don't make them illegal.

It is hard to predict all the reasons that someone may want to have a basement. Very few people are likely to pay the added cost of having a basement if height restrictions do not prevent them from building just as much without. Depending on policy, disallowing basements could result in less housing overall, which may increase carbon emissions and will worsen affordability in the long run.

Choices - Parking:

Recommend: "I support reduced parking requirements for new multiplex housing"

- There should not be parking requirements at all.

- "Free" mandated parking raises the cost of housing for everyone, including people that do not own cars.

- Consumers can decide how much parking is needed by paying the full cost of it if they want it.

Part 3. Community Infrastructure:


Part 3. Childcare:

Strongly Agree

Part 3. Food Systems:

No recommendations. Urban agriculture should not take precedence over urban housing.

Part 3. Ecology:


Part 3. Economy:


Part 3. Arts, Culture, and Heritage:


Part 3. SPECIAL TOPIC – Greenways:

Strongly Agree. Possible comments:

- Improving the greenway network to be better suited for novice cyclists will be great for everyone that lives near them, especially kids.

- Improved greenways would be awesome places for apartment buildings with no or minimal parking.

Part 3. Transportation:

Strongly Agree.

Part 3. Public Space:

Agree. Possible comments:

- Vancouver should help create comfortable spaces for all by eliminating hostile architecture.

Part 3. Housing:

Agree. Possible comments:

- Multiplex zones do not prioritize equity as they still exclude apartments.

- The plan references the Secured Rental Policy, which is not fair to renters as it still restricts apartments to being located only adjacent to busy streets.

- Social and non-market housing should generally be built and supported out of general revenues, with the help of higher levels of government, as provision of social housing should not be dependent on market-rate development paying for it, nor should market-rate renters and new buyers pay a disproportionate share of the cost of providing non-profit housing.

- The City needs to take more responsibility for ensuring that renters are not displaced, with comprehensive policies and management, rather than mostly only addressing displacement caused by building demolitions and relying on private companies to manage delivery of benefits.


Recommend: "I really like it and don’t have any significant issues with the plan"

And that's it! Easy-peasy! Thank you for helping to make your city a better place!

Additional Resources:

Draft Vancouver Plan Document: https://vancouverplan.ca/wp-content/uploads/Draft-Vancouver-Plan-2022-04-05.pdf

Analysis from More Housing: Vancouver Plan: residential, shopping areas, rapid transit