An annual Real Estate Foundation of B.C. award that recognizes the sustainable use and conservation of land has been presented to Metro Vancouver for the Regional Growth Strategy adopted this year. "This is a plan that will guide us for the next decade and help lead us to a more sustainable region," said Metro Vancouver Board Chair Lois E. Jackson, who accepted the award November 3 on behalf of the regional district's Board of Directors. "It's a regional land use plan that our children and grandchildren will thank us for. I'm very proud of all the Mayors and Councils in the region, who should also be recognized. Many citizens took the time to learn about the plan and gave us feedback to make it better." Twenty municipal councils, the Tsawwassen First Nation, TransLink and two adjacent regional districts formally accepted the Strategy. "Achieving unanimous support from 24 affected local governments is a very high bar," Jackson noted. "The fact that this plan received that support is testimony to the quality of the plan and the efforts of all the many people who contributed to it."
In July 2011, the Metro Vancouver Board of Directors adopted a new Regional Growth Strategy that aims to guide development in the region over the next three decades and accommodate an additional 35,000 residents per year. The Regional Growth Strategy – titled Metro Vancouver 2040 – Shaping Our Future – advances three main regional objectives. It protects industrial lands, so the region continues to have space for jobs and continues to be an international gateway for trade and commerce. The plan reaffirms the region's tradition of containing urban growth and protecting green space. And the plan guides growth to urban centres and other areas that have good transit service, so we create liveable, urban centres where people can live, work and play. Metro Vancouver won this year's public sector Land Award. The citation on the award trophy states: "The Land Awards celebrate outstanding initiatives in the sustainable use and conservation of land in B.C. As a 2011 land awards winner, your project demonstrates leadership, innovation, collaboration and is a model for others who are also working to make B.C. a better place to live."