Social infrastructure refers to the places and spaces where residents gather to connect, learn, and support each other
The process of developing the Social Infrastructure Plan officially launched in early 2017.
What the plan will provide
We invest in the building, maintenance, operation, and delivery of social infrastructure through a number of different tools, but we don't have an overall framework to guide these investments.
The Social Infrastructure Plan will develop recommendations for how we can meet the needs of a dynamic city in a more strategic and sustainable way.
Focus of the plan
The plan will focus on finding out:
- What social infrastructure exists, who it serves, and how well it meets our current needs
- What social infrastructure will be needed in the future
- The best way to fund and deliver new social infrastructure
- Priorities and decision-making criteria to guide our strategic and sustainable investments
Why social infrastructure matters
Social infrastructure refers to facilities and services that help individuals, families, groups, and communities meet their social needs, maximize their potential for development, and enhance community well-being.
We face a collective challenge to meet social infrastructure needs in the city. Vancouver's population is expected to increase by 150,000 people over the next 30 years. Rising real estate costs, an uneven distribution of social infrastructure across the city, social vulnerability, and affordability challenges add further pressure.
Examples of social infrastructure include:
- Neighbourhood houses
- Family places
- Youth centres
- Seniors’ centres
- Immigrant-serving organizations
What will and will not be included in the plan
There are over 1,000 social purpose non-profit organizations in Vancouver, and many spaces and places that make up “social infrastructure” in our city. Unfortunately, we can’t capture it all in a single plan.
Included in the plan
The plan will include City-owned and City-supported facilities that aren’t currently included in our other infrastructure plans:
- Social facilities and organizations supported by us through asset ownership, and/or other types of investment or support such as Social Policy Community Service Grants. These facilities and organizations provide services to a wide range of population groups including children, youth, families, seniors, new immigrants and refugees, Indigenous people, LGBTQ2+, and others.
Not included in the plan
What will not be included in the plan:
- Parks, plazas, community centres, affordable housing, libraries, galleries and museums. They are the focus of our other plans, such as Places for People Downtown, Making Space for Art: Cultural Facilities Key Gaps Update, VanPlay: Parks and Recreation Master Plan, and Vancouver’s Housing and Homelessness Strategy, among others.
- Schools, health clinics, and hospitals, which are governed by other jurisdictions.
The aim is to create strong links between the plans through continued collaboration and partnerships.
Social infrastructure is an essential ingredient in building strong, resilient communities
How we support social infrastructure
We support social infrastructure by:
- Building, operating, and renovating social facilities
- Building and leasing social facilities to non-profit organizations
- Providing capital to non-profit organizations to build, renovate, and renew their facilities
We also support the operation of social facilities and the needed services they provide through grants.
Our funding for social infrastructure comes from:
- City contributions - Property tax, user fees, and other operating revenue fund a majority of capital projects.
- Developer contributions - Contributions from development, including development cost levies (DCLs) and community amenity contributions (CACs), to partially fund new and expanded amenities and infrastructure needed for growth.
- Partner contributions - We receive funding from provincial and federal governments as well as from non-profit agencies, foundations, and philanthropists to advance Council and community priorities.