Spaces to Thrive: Vancouver Social Infrastructure Strategy

Social infrastructure is defined as physical spaces, services, or programs, and the networks across and within physical and social spaces where people come together.


Spaces to Thrive is Vancouver’s first strategic 10-year policy and partnership framework for City-owned and City-supported social infrastructure.

The strategy includes:

Spaces to Thrive uses a human rights based approach, which focuses on those facing vulnerabilities, to ensure fundamental human rights are protected without discrimination to achieve its vision, principles, and directions. This approach strives for better outcomes for all Vancouver residents by helping meet the space and facility needs of social and community-serving non-profits.

After the Spaces to Thrive policy framework was adopted by Council in December 2021, work began on Phase 2: Implementation plan and financial strategy. This phase provides directions for regulation, clear roles, and investment strategies for the City, senior government, and community partners to bring forward. The implementation plan details priority projects, processes, indicators, and targets.

Review the Spaces to Thrive policy framework Council report (5 MB)

What's happeningStrategy implementation underway

Social-serving Space Matching Pilot Program

We are working with Community Impact Real Estate Society (CIRES) and Hessey Consulting + Architecture to develop a space-matching program.

The 2022-2023 pilot will explore an approach to match existing underused, available, and suitable spaces with social non-profits and organizations seeking space.

Strategy scope

How we support social infrastructure

We support social infrastructure by:

  • Building, operating, renewing, 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
  • 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.