Bikers under the painted train bridge
Photo of Vancouver Fire fighters putting out a home fire
Hawaiian dancer at the Hawaiian Festival in Esther Short Park

City Council 2015 Policy Goals

Grow a More Vibrant, Safe and Welcoming, and Prosperous City

Click or tap any goal for more details.

Street funding

Over the last couple years, the City has been maturing a way to fund street operation, maintenance and construction. Much work has been done on this topic. Key outstanding policy issues include:

  • Long term stability of current funding levels dedicated to streets
  • Level of Service for pavement condition
  • Voted v. Council-manic and desired total level of funding/outcomes

2015 outcome: an adopted street funding program that provides reliable, dedicated, long term funding for streets, including pedestrian, bike and accessible infrastructure.

Affordable housing policy

The availability of affordable housing is an important ingredient in growing a more vibrant and prosperous City. One of the consequences of the great recession in Vancouver and elsewhere across the region is a reformation of the overall housing landscape. A briefing memo was distributed to Council in January, and an initial workshop took place February 23. Get more information about the work being done on this issue.

2015 outcomes:

  • Review Multi-Family Tax Abatement program and ordinance, including income limits and locations, to assure objectives are being met; revise as appropriate.
  • Review targeting CDBG and HOME funds to have the greatest impact on affordable housing in future funding cycles.
  • Subject to council direction, engage public and private stakeholders to explore policy options and alternatives to be incorporated into an Affordable Housing Plan and strategy to help address the growing housing affordability challenges in Vancouver.

The City's Affordable Housing Task Force began meeting to discuss these issues and start formulate recommendations for City Council in May 2015. Learn more about the task force.

Waterfront park and waterfront development

The Waterfront development and waterfront park represent a transformative urban economic opportunity to the City as well as provides a once in a generation opportunity to reconnect downtown with the shores of the Columbia River. In 2015, the City will continue to support and incent this project with an objective of seeing the first phase of private investment under construction before the end of the year.

2015 outcomes:

  • Catalyzing the highest feasible density in the first phase of private development on the site.
  • Complete construction of the Columbia Way extension.
  • Establishing a local improvement district to accelerate completion of public infrastructure on site.
  • Develop a funding and financing plan for and commence construction of the Waterfront Park.
  • Amend the development agreement to reflect refinements identified through project implementation.

Traffic and community safety

As the City emerges from the recession, the realities of managing core services in a resource constrained environment are becoming more evident, especially as we begin to see demands from new growth. In addition the City finds itself in a new, post-recessionary landscape that highlights the contrast between renewed economic activity, and urbanizing downtown, lingering poverty and long term structural unemployment. This is manifesting perceptions of declining traffic and community safety. New deployment approaches and investments in technology will help address some issues, while a longer term strategy for policing services in the City is needed.

2015 outcomes:

  • Fill all current authorized commissioned positions in VPD; measure results of fully staffed four-shift deployment model.
  • Develop and begin execution of a business plan for VPD that:
    • Identify feasible technology investments that will leverage current staff resources to improve enforcement and community safety. This may include photo enforcement approaches or public space surveillance systems.
    • Expand the range of methods used to achieve productive community outreach.
    • Optimize use of facilities, equipment and staffing to achieve best community safety outcomes.
    • Reopen east precinct to the public during regular business hours.

Welcome people of all cultures and heritages

Vancouver is an increasingly diverse city, with about 20 percent of our total population comprised of diverse communities. Actively engaging all of our citizens in public discourse as well as in a more formal policy advisory role is important to inclusive, representative governance. There are a series of policies the Council can consider that will add more focus on achieving greater diversity in the City’s governance structure. In addition, the City may be able to reinforce the history of indigenous peoples in a way that reinforces a distinctive local heritage.

2015 Outcomes:

  • Revised Council policies to address recruitment of diverse communities in governance boards.
  • Define an approach to recognizing indigenous peoples as an important part of celebrating Vancouver’s unique heritage.

Be the most connected community in the region

On-line and mobile technology is swiftly becoming the dominant platform for communication and commerce. Connection with and competitiveness of our City is likely supported by better investments in technology, both to better enable business with the City as well as better connect our citizens.  Improves access to broadband for all residents and businesses is central to a more connected City.

2015 Outcomes:

  • Development and deployment of an initial “mobile citizen platform”, allowing citizens to conduct City business and access information in a mobile format.
  • Engage in assertive franchise negotiations with CenturyLink with an objective of fostering competition and maximizing broadband access to the entire City.