Urban Design Panel

The Urban Design Panel (UDP) advises City Council and staff about development proposals or policies, including major development applications, rezoning applications, and other projects of public interest.

As well, the panel helps the Planning Department and City Council create urban design policy, including the design and interrelationship of all physical components of the City.

The panel reviews all civic building projects, including bridges, roads, parks, beautification projects, transit systems, civic buildings, and design competitions.

The UDP does not approve or refuse projects or make policy decisions.

Terms of reference

The Urban Design Panel Bylaw establishes the Panel, and describes its membership and duties.

Function and Authority

Panel meetings are open to public attendance but the meetings are not a forum for public comment. Depending on the type of project process, there are always opportunities for public input. Please note that recording and filming of the panel by the public is not generally allowed. To obtain a copy of the audio recording for a meeting please contact the Meeting Coordinator.

Meeting schedule

Panel meetings are held every two weeks throughout the year. Special meetings are convened when necessary. The meetings are normally held on Wednesdays at 4:00pm in the Town Hall Meeting Room, 1st Floor, City Hall, 453 West 12th Ave. Public attendance is permitted, however, the public may not address the panel.

Meeting procedure

The panel meetings are conducted by the elected chairperson in the following manner:
  • The Development Planner introduces the project to the panel (referring to its location, context, background, scope and response to established bylaws and design guidelines)
  • The applicant is given the opportunity to clarify any aspects of the plan to the panel (no presentation is required of the applicant)
  • The panel members review the project material and provide comments and observations
  • The Chairperson summarizes the comments of the panel
  • The panel then votes for either “Support”, “Non-Support” or “Deferral”
  • Detailed minutes of the meeting are distributed to the applicant and all relevant City staff and approving authorities

Attendance requirement

Members may miss no more than four consecutive meetings without obtaining leave of absence from the panel. Membership will be terminated following the fourth such absence.


The panel consists of at least 13 members, representing the following groups:

  • Six members, Architectural Institute of British Columbia
  • Two members, Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of British Columbia
  • Two members, The BC Society of Landscape Architects
  • One member, the development industry, from the Urban Development Institute, the Greater Vancouver Home Builders’ Association, or the Building Owners' and Managers’ Association
  • One member, Vancouver City Planning Commission
  • One member, practicing professional artist

All members are appointed by Council, and may be reappointed. There is no limit on the number of terms a member may serve.

Members of the 2017 Urban Design Panel

6 members from the Architectural Institute of British Columbia

  • James Cheng, Architect, James K.M. Cheng Architects
  • Yijin Wen, Architect, Fraser Health Authority
  • Amela Brudar, Architect, GBL Architects
  • Kim Smith, Architect, Blue Sky Architecture
  • Veronica Gilles, Architect, Henriquez Partners Architects
  • Helen Avini Besharat, Architect, Besharat Friars Architects

2 members from the Association of Professional Engineers

  • Meredith Anderson, Engineer, Read Jones Christoffersen Ltd,
  • Karen Spoelstra, Engineer, MCW Consultants

2 members from the British Columbia Society of Landscape Architects

  • Nell Gasiewicz, HAPA Collaborative
  • David Jerke, VDZ + associates inc.

1 representative from the Vancouver Planning Commission

  • Neal LaMontagne

1 member representing the development industry

  • Muneesh Sharma, B  Building Owners' and Managers’ Association

1 member representing art professionals

  • Renee Van Halm

Meetings, agendas, and details







Resources for potential and appointed members

The Procedure Bylaw regulates the procedures of Council and its committees and other bodies.

Procedure Bylaw  (156 kb)

The Code of Conduct Policy sets minimum expectations for the behaviour of Council officials, staff, and advisory body members in carrying out their functions.

Code of Conduct Policy  (145 kb)

Contact the Urban Design Panel

Meeting Coordinator

Lidia McLeod

Phone: 604-873-7770