Regional Land Use Designations key summary measure

Every parcel of land in the region has one of six regional land use designations that identifies the intended uses of the lands. The regional land use designations strike a balance by setting out the regional interest in land use while providing municipalities the flexibility to meet local land use objectives.

  Conservation and Recreation
  General Urban
  Mixed Employment

Agricultural areas are intended primarily for agricultural uses, facilities and supporting services with an emphasis on food production.

Conservation and Recreation areas are intended to protect significant ecological and recreation assets, including: drinking watersheds, conservation areas, wildlife management areas and ecological reserves, forests, wetlands, riparian corridors, and other tourist recreation areas.

General Urban areas are intended for residential neighbourhoods and centres, and are shopping, services, institutions, recreational facilities, and parks. Urban Centres and Frequent Transit Development Areas are generally located in General Urban areas.

Industrial areas are primarily intended for heavy and light industrial activities, and appropriate accessory uses. Residential uses are not intended.

Mixed Employment areas are intended for industrial, commercial, and other employment-related uses that complement employment uses in Urban Centres and Frequent Transit Development Areas. Residential uses are not intended.

Rural areas are intended to protect the existing character of rural communities, landscapes, and environmental qualities. Rural areas are not intended as future urban development areas, and generally will not have access to regional sewer services.

Proportion of Overall Land Area

  Metro Vancouver   2011   2020
Agricultural 19.8% 19.7%
Conservation and Recreation 47.1% 47.4%
General Urban 25.2% 25.1%
Industrial 3.6% 3.6%
Mixed Employment 1.2% 1.2%
Rural 3.1% 3.1%
Total 100% 100%

Change in Land Area by Regional Land Use Designation

  Metro Vancouver   2020   Net Change since 2011

Why do designations change?

The regional land use designations are intended to reflect municipal and regional commitments and aspirations. Municipalities can propose to amend the designations. The Metro Vancouver Board will convene a dialogue to review any proposal for consistency with Metro 2040 and the regional implications, then decide whether to approve or not approve the proposed amendment.

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