Urban Centres

​Urban centres are transit-oriented communities with diverse populations, a range of employment opportunities, public spaces, and lively cultural and entertainment amenities. These characteristics make urban centres ideal locations to direct and accommodate growth in our region.

Metro Vancouver has a network of 26 connected urban centres ranging in size and character. The Metro Core and Surrey Metro Centre are the two largest centres in the region. Following those, are seven other Regional City Centres that act as activity hubs and support rapid transit infrastructure, like the SeaBus, Rapid Bus, and SkyTrain. The smaller, Municipal Town Centres are diverse, with some showcasing the region’s diverse history and culture, while others are emerging as dense transit supportive hubs. Frequent transit development areas (FTDAs) are additional locations for growth, providing services and amenities to a more local population, while supporting rapid transit investment in both the immediate and longer term.

In Metro 2050, the Regional Growth Strategy, Urban Centres and FTDAs are considered “Growth Overlays” meaning the underlying land use designation is unchanged but there is an additional expectation that higher levels of housing and job growth will take place in these areas. Policies related to Urban Centres and FTDAs can be found under Strategy 1.2 in Metro 2050.

 Regional City Centre Profiles

Urban Centres and FTDA Profiles

Urban Centres Map

What does an Urban Centre look like?

Although each Urban Centre is unique, successful ones have some common elements:

  • A diversity of housing types and tenures that respond to an aging population, changing family and household characteristics, and the full range of household incomes and needs across the region
  • Sufficient commercial and office space ensures that there are jobs and services close to home
  • A connected network of sustainable transportation options that reduce traffic, energy consumption, and air pollution
  • A high-quality pedestrian environment that creates vibrancy and promotes walking, cycling, and transit
  • Ample amenities such as parks, public squares, greenways, and other recreational opportunities, as well as an abundance of social and cultural activities that create a strong sense of place and community, while fostering active and healthy living
  • Services (like child care and transit) and infrastructure (including both gray and green infrastructure) that are designed to accommodate higher levels of growth, and enhance community resilience to climate and natural disasters.