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Burnaby 2050: Official community plan moves to next phase

The third phase of public engagement will start in April 2024 and continue until June

City planners updated council’s Planning and Development Committee this week on the latest phase of Burnaby’s official community plan (OCP), also known as Burnaby 2050. The plan, which is now in its third phase, envisions the future of Burnaby in 25 years and has involved several phases of public engagement, including a public engagement session the Beacon covered in September 2023. In addition, the city created a youth advisory committee to give young Burnaby residents the chance to participate in shaping the city’s future. 

A report submitted to the city’s Planning and Development Committee at its meeting on Mar.13 outlined the progress made in the OCP between November 2023 and February 2024. Among the items mentioned were the creation of the youth advisory council, assessments of infrastructure, and modeling growth scenarios for the city. 

“It’s a really exciting project. I think we’re one of the first cities in the country to do it. It’s a really useful tool in being able to visually describe what some of the trade-offs amongst the scenarios might be,” said Ed Kozak, the city’s general manager for planning and development. 

Director of Community Planning Wendy Tse presented the update to the committee and responded to questions. Tse told the committee that phase two of the visioning process sought public feedback on what Burnaby residents want to see in the future. 

Phase three of public engagement will take place from April to June this year and will focus on vision values, 13 guiding principles, and growth scenarios envisioned for the city. 

“We are on track to complete the OCP in 2025,” Tse said. 

Tse presented three options for the Burnaby 2050 vision statement for council feedback: 

  1. “Burnaby is a safe, thriving, green city with a vibrant economy and connected neighbourhoods that people want to live in and be in for generations to come.” 

  2. “Vibrant and connected, green and safe – Burnaby is a place we can all call home.” 

  3. “Burnaby is a safe, green, and affordable city where people in all their diversity can prosper.”

In the coming months, the city will also seek public feedback on the vision statement through virtual and in-person engagement activities. 

“Congratulations to the team on the great work you’ve been doing. I’ve gone to many of the sessions. I was especially excited to see the youth group engaged,” Mayor Mike Hurley said. “When we think about planning for 2050, those are really the people who should get a big say in what’s going to happen. So I’m looking forward to the next stages.” 

The city published a “What We Learned” report detailing the information gathered throughout the process so far. The 99-page report outlines the results of the city’s visioning process and what residents value most and wish to preserve in Burnaby. Affordable housing, transit and infrastructure, healthcare, and protecting the natural environment and green spaces were some of the main items people agreed were important to them. 

This piece was made possible by the Local Journalism Initiative.

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