Here is a primer for those who are looking for a basic introduction to city-wide planning in Vancouver.

The list is a work-in-progress. Readers are invited to send suggested additions to vcpc21 [at]

 1. Articles – A Place to Start

There are many articles that refer to a new city-wide plan for Vancouver. This list offers eight articles that, in combination, provide a basic but fairly thorough introduction to the subject, including opposing perspectives. They are a place to start. Additional sources are listed in the sections below, and many more can be found by browsing online.

Berelowitz, Lance. (2012) Whither Vancouver. Urban Forum Associates  [blog].

Condon, Patrick and Price, Gordon. (2014, August 13) Debate: Should Vancouver change how it zones big projects. The Tyee.

Lee, Jeff. (2012, July 16) Former Vancouver planning directors say city ill-prepared to deal with growth. Vancouver Sun.

McAfee, Ann. (2013) Tools for Change: CityPlan – Vancouver’s strategic planning success. Built Environment, 39(4), pp. 438–453. (Includes bibliography) Download 270 kb

Ransford, Bob. (2013, August 24) Evolving neighbourhoods need master plan. Vancouver Sun.

Seelig M. and Seelig, J. (1997) [CityPlan] Participation or abdication? Plan Canada, 37(3), pp. 18–22. Download 1mb

A city-wide plan for Vancouver? Commentaries from 13 urban thinkers. (2011) Vancouver City Planning Commission [web page].

Planning Vancouver’s Future: CityPlan or city-wide plan? Neighbourhoods for a Sustainable Vancouver [blog].

2. Source Documents

The City of Vancouver has been shaped by two major city-wide planning initiatives, the Bartholomew Plan and CityPlan. The City’s Regional Context Statement is a compilation of all plans and policies.

Bartholomew Plan 1929

Created in 1928 and updated in 1929 to include the amalgamated municipalities of South Vancouver and Point Grey. Fully digitized versions are available at the City of Vancouver Archives website, along with many other plans and reports commissioned from Harland Bartholomew and Associates by the Vancouver Town Planning Commission:

Bartholomew Plan 1929
Bartholomew Plans and Reports

CityPlan 1995

CityPlan is a city-wide plan that provided a 20-year framework for decisions on city funding, programs and actions. It guided many planning processes, including capital, housing, greenways and transportation plans, as well as the Community Visions program that was completed in 2010. CityPlan is available on the City of Vancouver (former) website.

CityPlan Community Visions

 Regional Context Statement 2013

All municipalities were required to prepare a Regional Context Statement  (RCS) outlining compliance with the Metro Vancouver Regional Growth Strategy. Vancouver’s RCS was adopted as an Official Development Plan for the city, and states: “The City of Vancouver, unlike other local governments, does not have an Official Community Plan covering the whole City. However, there are land use and transportation plans and policies which together provide a planning framework equivalent in scope to a city-wide development plan.” The RCS is a compilation of these plans and policies, and is available on the City of Vancouver website.

Regional Context Statement
Regional Context Statement Public Hearing: report, presentations, submissions

Regional Context Statement: Vancouver City Planning Commission Statement to Council

 3. Bibliographies on Vancouver Planning

Here are links to lists of books and resources on various aspects of planning in Vancouver

Vancouver 101: Essential Readings for Architecture, Planning, and Design in Metro Vancouver. (2013) BTA Works [blog].

Punter, John. (2003) The Vancouver Achievement: Urban Planning and Design. Bibliography pp. 409-431 [at Google Books}