Industrial lands are crucial to support a prosperous, sustainable regional economy and to provide space to accommodate the many industrial activities and services needed in a growing region. While representing 4% of the region’s land base, industrial lands accommodate over one quarter of the region’s total employment, and contribute to the region’s economic well-being, with important links to transportation, trade, and tax dollars.
Metro Vancouver’s industrial lands are used mainly for manufacturing, transportation/warehousing, wholesale trade, retail trade, and professional/technical services. Much of our industrial land provides for the day-to-day needs of the region’s population, providing locations for services like vehicle repair, hotel laundry services, catering companies, breweries, and couriers.
In our port-based region, a significant amount of land is needed for container storage, freight forwarding, warehouses, and other distribution functions that keep the region connected to Canada and the rest of the world.
Issues and challenges – growing demand, shrinking supply
The Metro Vancouver region is experiencing a critical shortage of industrial land. Due to a constrained land base and strong demand for all types of land uses, the supply of industrial land is under significant pressure for conversion to residential and commercial uses, which tend to have higher land values. The resulting lack of available lands and high costs could slow job growth, discourage businesses from locating or expanding in the region, and put pressure on agricultural lands.
Demand for industrial land is also increasing and the shortage of industrial lands is expected to continue to worsen.
These complex challenges and trade-offs require a regional vision and strategic response from stakeholders and governments, including municipalities, industry, and regional agencies.
Industrial Lands Densification in Metro Vancouver Webinar
Metro Vancouver hosted a free public webinar in the fall of 2020 to address the status of industrial lands and the potential for densification in this region. Please view a
recording of the webcast as well as the
Metro Vancouver’s role
Metro Vancouver 2040: Shaping our Future (the regional growth strategy), aims to protect the region’s supply of industrial land and promote its efficient use. Metro 2040 also encourages office and other major developments to be located in urban centres and along the frequent transit network. Working with TransLink and the Port of Vancouver, the plan supports a strong, prosperous economy, job diversity, and an efficient goods movement network.
Metro Vancouver provides research and policy advice to advance practical and innovative forms of industrial planning and development throughout the region.