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Municipal Politics
Urban Planning

The Vancouver Plan, in Seven Minutes

WATCH: This informative City of Vancouver video explains what its 166-page document could mean for the future of the city.

Olamide Olaniyan 12 Aug

Olamide Olaniyan is associate editor at The Tyee. Follow him on Twitter @olapalooza.

Don’t know what the Vancouver Plan is and are too embarrassed to ask at this point? Say no more. Luckily, there’s a familiar face to walk you through it — urban planning graduate and videographer Uytae Lee. He recently shot a video for the City of Vancouver about its much talked about city plan approved last month.

Tyee readers are already familiar with Lee’s work. He regularly unpacks urban and city planning issues for his YouTube video series About Here, and we’ve featured some of his videos on The Tyee — from Vancouver’s missing middle, to solutions for the city’s rental crisis, to its endangered residential corner stores.

The 166-page Vancouver Plan is the culmination of three years of engagement with thousands of people in the city. As daunting as that sounds, Lee’s hijinks — explaining the plan to a room full of young kids, from Vancouver’s Playland amusement park and while waist-deep in False Creek — make the plan easier to digest.

In a little over seven minutes, Lee shares what the plan’s most important details tell us about the city’s priorities and goals for the next 30 years and why they should matter to you.

Come see what our friends at Viewpoint Vancouver have recognized as “excellence in explanation.”

Municipal policy can be confusing. Uytae Lee unpacks the much-anticipated Vancouver Plan in a little over seven minutes. Video via the City of Vancouver.

Why focus so much time on an esoteric subject like the Vancouver Plan?

“I think [the Vancouver Plan is] probably the closest our local government has gotten to creating a citywide plan for Vancouver since Harland Bartholomew’s plan for the city in 1929,” Lee told The Tyee via email.

“People might argue that there have been similar plans in the past such as CityPlan from the 1990s or even another Vancouver Plan from 1986, but I believe they lacked the overarching land-use strategy that this current plan has. I think that’s part of the reason why there’s often tension and unpredictability around developments in this city.”

Uytae Lee stands waist-deep in Vancouver’s False Creek near Habitat Island in the Olympic Village. The sky and water are grey. The Cambie Bridge is in the background.
Videographer Uytae Lee tells The Tyee: ‘I did not develop any infections or illnesses (that I’m aware of) after getting in the water at False Creek.' Still from the City of Vancouver’s video explaining the Vancouver Plan.

Lee said the video was made to be educational, but that he also hoped it could spur more people in Vancouver to engage with their city.

“I think it’s important for more people to be generally aware about the Vancouver Plan now because the city will need more input from citizens as it implements this plan. A key next step after Vancouver Plan is to create more detailed area plans for each neighbourhood, which will require more public input,” he said.

“I hope a video like this serves as a useful backgrounder for people attending future public engagement events for implementing the Vancouver Plan.”  [Tyee]

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