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About This Priority

The Metro Vancouver region is growing rapidly. Our population is increasing by 30,000 residents each year and it is anticipated that the regional population could reach 3.6 million people by the year 2050. The location of new homes, businesses and institutions strongly influences both greenhouse gas emissions and exposure to risks associated with climate change.

Climate 2050: Land-Use and Urban Form

The location of new homes and businesses strongly influences both GHG emissions and exposure to risks associated with climate change.

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Anticipated Impacts

  • Global climate change impacts have the potential to shift anticipated patterns of immigration, which could further increase Metro Vancouver’s population.
  • As a result of increasing flood risk, some lands may become poorly suited to certain types of development, such as residences, schools, or certain types of businesses. This would decrease the land-base available for development, in a region that already has a limited supply.
  • For buildings and infrastructure in flood-prone areas, protection such as dikes may need to be built or upgraded. This may increase the cost of development or require funding through taxes and fees.
  • Additional resources will need to be allocated to emergency response planning as the level of risk increases.
  • Due to increased rainfall, municipalities, homeowners and developers will need to do more to manage stormwater (runoff) to avoid flooding homes and businesses.

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Land-use decisions determine where residents live, work and play. Where and how our region accommodates growth also determines how much residents, businesses and infrastructure are exposed to physical risks associated with climate change, such as flood risk from rising seas and rivers.

Metro Vancouver and its member jurisdictions are working to reduce greenhouse gases by focusing growth in a network of transit-oriented urban centres, and building compact, complete communities that offer amenities close to home.

This focused growth reduces emissions by supporting low carbon transportation such as walking, cycling and public transit.

Land-use planning is an important tool for directing growth away from higher risk areas and natural areas that can alleviate negative impacts, thereby increasing community resilience to flooding.

For buildings and other infrastructure that remain in flood-prone areas, protection such as dikes may need to be built or upgraded to mitigate increasing climate risk and additional resources may need to be allocated to emergency response planning.

A land-based carbon inventory would provide a better understanding of the impact that land-use changes are having on the region’s ability to sequester carbon and inform Climate 2050 actions to protect local carbon sinks.


Learn More About Climate Change

Climate change is already affecting our planet and our region in profound ways, making our summers hotter and drier, our winters warmer and wetter, and increasing the occurrence of extreme weather events.

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