About Us

The Vancouver City Planning Commission is an advisory body of volunteers appointed by Vancouver City Council with a broad mandate to consider and advise Council on matters relating to the future of Vancouver.

The Commission organizes conferences, consultations, competitions, presentations, and research on topics including housing, public realm, neighbourhoods, transportation, and public engagement.

The Commission is the City of Vancouver’s oldest citizens’ body. Established in 1926, its first task was to develop the first plan for the Vancouver. The resulting Bartholomew Plan, completed in 1929, created the basic layout for the city that we have today.

The Commission’s mandate has changed over the years, with the creation of the Planning Department in the 1950s and new regulatory boards to direct development in the city. In 1977, the Commission was given it;s current role as an advisory body.

In its advisory capacity, the Commission has addressed many significant urban issues and opportunities in areas including housing, governance, public consultation, transportation, land use and public realm. Its activities have included original research, conferences, pubic consultations, competitions, study groups and speaker presentations.

As one example, during 1979-80, the Commission conducted a broadly based consultation that resulted in Goals for Vancouver. This report laid some of the groundwork for the CityPlan process that created the framework that continues to guide decision-making in City programs, priorities and actions on a wide range of topics including transportation, arts, housing and community services.

The mandate and terms of reference for the Commission are outlined in By-law No. 5064.  The by-law states that the Commission’s work is to assist Council by considering and submitting reports on matters relating to planning and development of the City. Specific duties referred to are the following:

  • to represent ideas and opinions about the future of the City of Vancouver, and
  • to consider and report to Council on any proposal likely to have a significant effect on the future of the City.

The Commission submits work plans and reports to Council, generally on an annual basis.