False Creek Flats amenity node heritage

False Creek Flats Plan

The False Creek Flats Plan is a long-term vision for the area to become more productive, sustainable, and connected to the rest of our city. 

Created with the help of the Vancouver Economic Commission, community members and stakeholders, the plan recognizes the unique qualities of this neighbourhood and the important economic role it plays in Vancouver. 

The approved plan focuses on: 

  • Increasing employment from 8,000 to at least 30,000 jobs
  • Establishing programs and supports for local businesses and strategic economic sectors
  • Supporting existing businesses, artists, and industry
  • Supporting innovation, creative and digital businesses, health care and life sciences, and food and service industries
  • Creating the right kinds of spaces and infrastructure for business needs
  • Developing interesting and active public places
  • Connecting places, spaces, and surrounding neighbourhoods 
  • Addressing and responding to challenges of climate change and seismic vulnerability

What's happening

The Flats and Reinventing Cities

A City-owned site in the Flats has been put forward for the C40 Reinventing Cities  competition. Vancouver is part of a group of 19 cities who will be leaders in demonstrating how cities can shape the future by delivering healthier, greener, and economically viable urban developments.

We’re inviting architects, urban planners, designers, developers, entrepreneurs, environmentalists, start-ups, neighbourhood collectives, innovators, and artists to submit ideas that would transform our site into a leading example of sustainable and resilient development that serves the needs of our community. 

Submit an expression of interest 

Expressions of Interest are being accepted until June 15, 2018. 

Visit the site

Architects, planners, designers, and creative teams are invited to attend a site visit on June 4, 2018.

Learn more about the Reinventing Cities challenge and the City's site, see the possibilities for the land, and inspire your proposal!


Project area

The study area boundary is Main Street to the west, Prior and Venables streets to the north, Clark Drive to the east, and Great Northern Way to the south. 

Recent developments

Public Hearing for Amendments to Zoning and Development Bylaw

July 25, 2017 - Referred to Public Hearing on September 19, 2017.

Council approves False Creek Flats Plan

May 17, 2017 - City Council approved the False Creek Flats Plan.

Our guiding principles for the Flats

  1. Retain and intensify "back of house" industrial functions.
  2. Increase job capacity, with a focus on green jobs and economy.
  3. Ensure that food security and the food economy continue to have a strong presence in the Flats.
  4. Create and foster a unique sense of identity.
  5. Plan for the long-term presence of rail.
  6. Celebrate and enhance arts and culture.
  7. Recognize the historic importance of the area.
  8. Identify opportunities to create new and enhanced public gathering spaces.
  9. Seek creative and temporary uses for underutilized land.
  10. Improve traffic circulation by introducing new streets and connections for people walking and cycling.
  11. Maintain an efficient network of arterial streets essential for goods movement.
  12. Consult the public and all stakeholders in a meaningful way.

Related projects

Work leading up to this plan

Since the late 1980s, a lot of our industrial lands near downtown changed into mixed-use developments with homes, businesses, and amenities. This shift put a lot of pressure on our remaining industrial land, including the False Creek Flats.

Even though our land that prohibits residential uses makes up only 10 per cent of Vancouver's land area, it’s where half of us work. These lands are near transit, rail, roads, and ports, but away from residential areas. This lets businesses run non-stop operations and make noise, light, and odors without affecting people at home.

Since these lands are vital yet vulnerable, we created these studies and policies to balance the need for job space and development. 

Year  Study or policy  Outcomes 


Industrial Lands Strategy 

  • Identified the Flats as an essential area to preserve for industrial, transportation and service needs

1996 – 1999 

False Creek Flats Preliminary Concept Plan

I-2 and I-3 Industrial Zoning District Schedules and Design Guidelines 

  • Created directions to keep traditional light industry in the eastern Flats, while allowing for high-tech offices near transit and neighbouring communities
  • Divided the Flats industrial lands into two zones (I-2 and I-3 industrial)


False Creek Flats Structure Plan 

  • Aimed to better connect the area with improved public spaces
  • Assumed freight rail was leaving


Transportation and rail study 

  • Reaffirmed the importance of rail lands
  • Identified the need to grade-separate road vehicles from rail along the Burrard Inlet Line to the Port


Metro Core Jobs and Economy Land Use Plan

  • Developed a long-term strategy to accommodate future economic needs
  • Created policies to address a shortage of commercial and business land in the face of expected job growth
  • Reconfirmed the Flats as a key area for jobs and economic activity
  • Led to rezoning policy for general office use in the I-3 zone


Metro Vancouver Regional Growth Strategy 

  • Protected key employment lands from residential development
  • Identified and preserved industrial and mixed-employment zones in the region

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