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Balancing regional and local interests: Preventing further job sprawl in the greater Vancouver region

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Despite Vancouver’s reputation for urban planning excellence, there are fears the current voluntary model of regional governance may be unable to ensure the achievement of the vision defined in the Regional Growth Strategy. Managing land use to promote a compact city form and reduce the need for transport is a key element of the regional vision. Several factors such as cheaper land and competition for property rates revenue have contributed to “job-sprawl,” with office park developments in suburban locations unsupported by transit. Several policies are considered to improve the alignment between local municipal and regional interests, and guide employment-generating developments to urban centres. Improved policy coordination, targeting of public funds to designated growth areas to reduce private sector risk and regional revenue sharing are recommended as the most promising options to address job sprawl.
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