Chronology Project Overview

Vancouver’s Planning Legacy and the City’s Future:
A Chronology of Planning and Development Milestones

The Planning Commission seeks to ground its future-oriented work in an understanding of the roots of the present and the legacy from the past. Although there are many excellent histories of Vancouver, and numerous useful thematic chronologies, there was no reliable resource that provided a comprehensive chronology of milestones in the city’s planning and development.

In 2014, following a round table discussion with past Planning Commissioners, the Planning Commission set out to develop one.

With the assistance of an advisory panel and community partners including UBC School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, Vancouver Heritage Commission and Vancouver Archives, the Planning Commission completed the first edition of the chronology in 2015, published as an online timeline.

The framework for identifying milestones in Vancouver’s planning and development history is described in What is a Milestone?

The content for the first edition was generated by students registered in a special course created by the UBC School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture for students in planning-related disciplines. The course was designed as an introduction to historical research and analysis within the framework of a practical research assignment. The students worked under the direction of Adjunct Professor Marta Farevaag, and with access to the expertise of the advisory panel and other external advisors (John Atkin, Ken Cameron, Norm Hotson, Michael Kluckner, Bruce Macdonald, Catherine Sinasac).

The timeline was launched at a panel discussion in January as part of a multi-layered community engagement process to identify significant planning and development events of 2015. An initial draft list of significant events was brainstormed at two workshops with 40 urban professionals. The four panellists provided their perspectives, while the panel audience provided written comments on display panels featuring the proposed significant events, and engaged in moderated discussion with the panellists.

The panel event was produced as pilot project, and may be repeated annually as a venue for a reflection on the previous year in planning and development and as a process for updating the online timeline.

The timeline was featured as one of the exhibits at a dedicated computer station at the Museum of Vancouver, within the exhibition presented by the Vancouver Urbanarium Society, Your Future Home: Creating the New Vancouver (January-May 2016).

(from Report to Council, April 20, 2016)