Current Commission Initiatives


Dialogues and Events

The Commission’s current major focus is on dialogues exploring the future of the city in the context of the planning legacy of the past. In 2014, we partnered with UBC and SFU on a number of events including:


Symposium: Planning the metropolitan region

Commissioners participated in a symposium in April organized by the UBC School of Community and Regional Planning (SCARP) entitled Planning the Metropolitan Region. The symposium launched a critical examination of Vancouver, ‘Vancouverism,’ and 21st Century Urbanism that will culminate in a book of essays. The project combines a retrospective assessment of Vancouver’s planning legacy with a look ahead to the city’s future and will be a continuing source of valuable ideas for thinking about the city. The Commission sponsored the videography of the presentations of about 30 prominent urban thinkers, professionals and policy-makers. The presenters shared stories, reflections and critiques about the evolution of the City of Vancouver and the region.


Round Table: Vancouver’s planning legacy and the future

The Commission hosted a round table with past commissioners in June to build on the dialogue initiated at the SCARP symposium. The dialogue responded to the following questions:
Given changing demographics, climate change, and global economic forces, does the planning legacy of the past adequately prepare us for the future in 2100? What from our legacy will serve us, and what must we yet do?


Lecture and Panel: Vancouver in the 21st Century

This co-presentation with SFU's Vancity Office of Community Engagement will include a lecture by Andy Yan, urban planning and VCPC Commissioner, which will look at various aspects of life in Vancouver through the lens of social statistics and community cartographies. From real estate ownership to electoral participation to school enrollment, it looks at the social, economic, and political opportunities and challenges facing the City and its region as it moves from a British colonial transit point to a Pacific metropolis. If ideas of “Vancouverism” framed city building in Vancouver between 1986 to the present, what might be some of the new ideas on urban life that will lead us into Vancouver’s second century? The lecture will be followed by a panel and audience discussion with Peter Ladner, Vanessa Timmer and Matt Hern, moderated by Frances Bula. Event date: on September 24: further details here.


SFU City Conversations: Does Vancouver need a city-wide plan?

As CityPlan nears the end of its projected 20-year life, there is a lively discussion underway of what a new city-wide plan might mean for Vancouver and how it might be developed. The Planning Commission teamed up with SFU City Conversations to co-present a discussion on November 20, 2014 on the topc “Does Vancouver need a city-wide plan?” with presenters Ann McAfee, Vancouver's Co-Director of Planning (with Larry Beasley) who guided the 1995 CityPlan; Patrick Condon, Chair of Urban Design at UBC’s School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture; and Peter Whitelaw, Principal at the Modus planning group with experience in creating and updating plans for other BC municipalities. Documentation for the event including videos, transcripts, background and resources can be found here.


2015 Initiatives

The work plan for 2015 is under development and includes initiatives that build on the dialogues of 2014 on the future of the city in the context of the planning legacy of the past. Our work continues to be collaborative, working with other organizations including SFU City Conversations, UBC School of Community and Regional Planning and School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, and Museum of Vancouver.


Vancouver’s Planning and Development History: Milestones

The Commission’s background material for dialogues and other special events often includes a list of significant events in the history of planning and development of the city. In 2014, the Commission initiated a project to substantially improve existing lists with a chronology of milestones that is comprehensive, reliable and informative. One of our partners in this project is the UBC School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, which has created a course on Vancouver’s History in which students will contribute to the development of the chronology.


For more information about the Commission's current work:

Please consult the Agendas and Minutes for Commission meetings, online at the City’s website.

Updated January 15, 2015