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  Weekly Feature: (November 15, 2003)
 

 
Accommodating Vancouver's Growing Population
Paul's Weekly Feature

 

 

The Pearson Adult Learning Centre is located in New Westminster, B.C., Canada.  The city of New Westminster is one of the 21 member municipalities which make up the Greater Vancouver Regional District (GVRD), a district in which the population is expected to reach 2.7 million by 2021.  This represents a nearly whopping 29% increase over the 2.1 million inhabitants of 2002

In order to effectively accommodate such a large expected rise in population, it is vital to maintain regional livability while protecting the environment. 

Achieving this goal requires, in large part, an understanding and appreciation of the geological and geographical landscape of the GVRD.  Such knowledge and attitudes are necessary in order to make optimal community decisions regarding the local land-use, the natural resources, and the environment.

The GVRD lies predominately from where the Fraser River leaves the coastal mountains, to where this river eventually connects with the inland sea of the Strait of Georgia.  Some of the GVRD member municipalities include Vancouver, New Westminster, Burnaby, Surrey, Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, and Port Moody. 

The Greater Vancouver landscape is comprised of various earth layers reaching far beneath the surface, a landscape which forms and changes by ongoing natural processes.  Such natural processes are associated with moving crustal (tectonic) plates, earthquakes, glaciers, volcanic activity, landslides, soil erosion, lakes, rivers and streams, etc..

To accommodate the huge expected population growth, the GVRD Board is incorporating geological and geographical concepts into its land development and expansion plans regarding land-use and natural resource decisions.  For example, the GVRD Board has adopted the Livable Region Strategic Plan, a plan with special consideration to the landscape, to the natural resources, and to the environment. 

This plan calls for the protection of the Green Zone which includes Greater Vancouverís natural assets including major parks, watersheds, ecologically important areas, resource lands, and farmland. This plan also establishes a long-term growth boundary.

In light of the GVRDís anticipated tremendous population growth at least through to 2021, it is essential that all the 21 member municipalities carefully scrutinize and effectively manage both their land-use, and their natural assets and natural resources. 

This goal will undoubtedly serve to ensure the preservation of the GVRD communities, while accommodating the livability of an expanding population.

 

For reference and further information, check these sites:

Geoscape Canada

Greater Vancouver Regional District

 

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