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Details of The Livable Region Strategic Plan

The four strategies of the Region Plan

The Livable Region Plan after many years in preparation was adopted by the Greater Vancouver Regional District(GVRD) in 1996. It describes a growth strategy for the region for a population of about 2.75 million, nearly a million more people than currently live in the Greater Vancouver area. The Livable Region Strategic Plan (LRSP) is intended to preserve and enhance the quality of life for the region's citizens and protect the environment in which we live. The regional plan incorporates policies, targets and maps. It is based on four fundamental strategies.

1. Protect the Green Zone

The LRSP identified areas of the region as the "Green Zone", which is protected from urban development. The Green Zone is intended to protect Greater Vancouver's natural assets, including, major parks, watersheds, ecologically important areas, and farm lands. Municipalities (including the City of Vancouver), have nominated lands to be placed in the Green Zone.

2. Build Complete Communities

The LRSP proposes to build "complete communities". To achieve this, the GVRD will, among other measures, seek through partnerships:

  • a better balance in jobs and labour force location throughout the region;
  • a diversity of housing types, tenures and costs in each part of the region, in balance with job distribution;
  • development of a network of high-quality, mixed activity urban centres supported by an appropriate level of public transit and a range of community services and cultural facilities for residents and employees; and
  • development of transportation services and facilities that support local access to centres.

One of the main policy initiatives to help achieve complete communities is the designation of Regional Town Centres. The LRSP envisages a significant share of offices, business and community services being located in these town centres. Concentrating employment in town centres helps to provide a strong and self supporting local economy. It also easier to provide regional transit services to town centres and reduce the region's dependency on cars.

3. Achieve a Compact Metropolitan Region

The LRSP intends that a greater share of growth will locate in the developed areas of the region. Growth is to focus in a "Growth Concentration Area" which includes the City of Vancouver. The LRSP provides household, population and employment targets for 2021, for the region as a whole and for the Growth Concentration area. Through partnerships, the GVRD seeks, among other things:

  • achievement of the population and employment growth targets for 2006 and 2021;
  • identification of further opportunities for the location of ground-oriented housing, with particular emphasis on the Growth Concentration Area;
  • provision of transportation services and facilities required to support the population and employment growth targets, with priority given to areas identified for above-trend population and employment growth; and
  • achievement of adequate population and employment densities in centres and transportation corridors to support planned transit services.

The Growth Concentration Area includes the following municipalities and parts of municipalities: Vancouver, Burnaby, New Westminster, North East Sector (Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody), North Surrey and North Delta.

The LRSP provides growth management targets for the Growth Concentration Area provide for 73% of the region's population growth to be located in the Growth Concentration Area. This area now has about 65% of the region's population, but a continuation of present trends would probably result in higher growth in the more distant parts of the region .

GVRD Areas and housing type for year 2021

Households Population Employment (1)
Growth Concentration Area total 786,000 1,832,000 951,000
– Ground oriented housing 491,000 -- --
– Apartment households 295,000 -- --
GVRD total 1,135,000 2,676,000 1,317,000
– Ground oriented housing 741,000 -- --
– Apartment households 394,000 -- --

Source: Livable Region Strategic Plan
(1) Excludes construction

4. Increase Transportation Choice

To increase transportation choice, the LRSP proposes a number of measures to encourage transit ridership and reduce reliance on single occupant automobile travel. The GVRD will among other measures:

  • pursue Transportation Demand Management strategies as a fundamental transportation requirement for the achieving goals and objectives of the LRSP;
  • plan and implement a transit oriented and automobile restrained transportation system for the region based on intermediate capacity transit facilities (including light rail transit, SkyTrain and high capacity busways), within identified corridors;
  • provide a variety of local transit services and networks with the flexibility to serve different demands in support of the Complete Communities and Compact Metropolitan Region;
  • assign priority for increased roadway capacities first to high occupancy vehicles, goods movements, inter-regional movements, and then single occupant automobiles;
  • enhance and/or retrofit local streets and infrastructure to favour transit, bicycle and pedestrian uses;
  • maintain appropriate levels of service for interregional and truck movements through the Lower Mainland by pursuing transportation system management strategies and measures including access restrictions and future corridor and right-of-way protection.

Responsibility for transportation planning now rests with TransLink. Following its establishment in April 2000, TransLink prepared a strategic transportation plan which set out infrastructure and associated measures needed to keep on track with the targets established in Transport 2021. Funding arrangements for the plan are still to be finalised, but may require some reductions in the infrastructure program anticipated in the plan.




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