Residents of Vancouver believe that their views on planning and development are being ignored. Increasingly, they are voicing strong objections to the City’s ineffective and divisive “consultation” and “engagement” practices.
Vancouver’s communities have united to propose a different approach. Working together as the Coalition of Vancouver Neighbourhoods we aim to restore neighbourhood-based planning while strengthening community involvement and influence in decision making.
If Vancouver is to remain an inclusive, liveable and healthy city, we must have a City Council that will respect our diverse neighbourhoods as the fundamental building blocks of our city.
We call on the Mayor and Council to fully and officially endorse the Coalition’s Principles and Goals for Collaborative Neighbourhood-based Planning in the City of Vancouver (153kb PDF), as updated January 8, 2016.
The Coalition’s Principles and Goals include the following main concepts:
A collaborative, accountable and transparent partnership
Community consultation means more than making planning and development decisions in private, then informing residents about proposals and requesting feedback as is too often the case. The City must work collaboratively with residents, neighbourhood associations and community organizations throughout the planning process. Goals, alternative options, and all pertinent information regarding Community Plans and major developments must be shared openly and developed together with the community from the start. The decision-making process must be transparent and accountable to ensure that planning reflects the needs, aspirations, and local knowledge of residents.
Vancouver as community, not commodity
The interests of communities and residents must come before private profits. Housing and developments should be consistent with established neighbourhood character and aimed at serving the local housing market, rather than attracting investors. Public amenities, infrastructure and services must be adequate, timely, and well-suited to the needs of residents and local businesses.
A livable, sustainable city
Cities can maintain and improve livability, affordability and sustainability through planning and regulation of land uses. While city-wide principles and goals can help inform planning for change and growth, each neighbourhood has its own needs and distinct character. Ultimately, local residents and local businesses should determine how to meet city-wide and regional goals in their communities.