Long Range Growth Scenarios

​Project Background and Purpose

In collaboration with its member jurisdictions, Metro Vancouver prepares population, housing and employment projections to guide regional and local growth management planning. Metro Vancouver uses these projections to inform the implementation of Metro 2040, the review of Regional Context Statements, regional utility demand planning, TransLink's regional transportation modelling, and serve as a reference for a variety of other initiatives.

Over time, Metro Vancouver has needed to update the projection methods and assumptions to account for new data or to extend the projections beyond the year 2040. For example, TransLink's Regional Transportation Strategy will require projections to be extended to the year 2050 while Metro Vancouver's water and liquid waste utilities have requested that projections be extended up to 2121 to inform infrastructure planning decisions and investments. Projecting to these longer timeframes requires more in-depth consideration of a range of emerging drivers and disruptors that may impact regional growth.

The Regional Long Range Growth Scenarios project will use a scenario planning approach to:

  1. Establish general agreement regarding Metro Vancouver's future growth assumptions and population, housing and employment projections. 
  2. Test the resiliency of the goals, strategies and policy directions of Metro 2040 against a range of drivers and disruptors (e.g. emerging technologies, climate change impacts including sea level rise) by identifying potential implications and options.
  3. Plan for timeframes beyond existing policy (e.g. 2050 and 2121) to identify potential issues for long term infrastructure and land use.  
  4. Support planning and capital investment decisions for regional Water Services, Liquid Waste Services, TransLink and other interested organizations through updates to Metro Vancouver projections for population growth, housing demand, job growth and land use. 

The Regional Long Range Growth Scenarios project will be undertaken collaboratively with member jurisdictions, TransLink and other organizations with an interest in long-range population and employment growth, housing demand and land use. The outcomes of the project will inform the next iteration of the regional growth strategy and can support future updates to other regional and local plans.

Process and Timeline

Long Range Scenarios Project Timeline


Phase 1: Setting the Baseline will share current growth projections and assumptions for population, jobs, housing demand and land use with member jurisdictions and regional agencies. This phase will result in a 'trend forward' scenario for growth based on existing plans and policies. This scenario will be used to compare against alternative scenarios in Phase 3. 

Phase 2: Emerging Trends, Drivers and Disruptors will identify and prioritize events and forces of change that could impact our ability to achieve our collective vision and goals for managing regional growth as expressed in Metro 2040. Phase 2 will engage a broader range of stakeholders and interface with other processes such as the Metro 2040 Environment and Climate Policy Review and Regional Industrial Lands Strategy. The prioritized list of trends, drivers and disruptors will be used to develop scenarios for further exploration in Phase 3.  

Phase 3: Scenario Analysis will focus on developing scenarios, analyzing impacts and developing potential policy options. Each scenario will include a combination of assumed trends, drivers and disruptors of concern to the region. The outcomes of each scenario will be assessed based on current policies and the regional land-use framework. Potential policy responses to each scenario will be developed to show what action might be needed to continue achieving the vision and goals articulated in Metro 2040 or to develop new approaches.

Phase 4: Communicating Results will involve sharing the results, preparing recommended policy directions, reporting out to stakeholders, and distributing information to inform other regional and local planning processes.

We are currently in Phase 1: Setting the Baseline. We will be working closely with member jurisdictions, TransLink and key regional and local organizations to describe our current methods and assumptions for long range growth projections and to explore opportunities for improvement.

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