Mapping the Zoning of First Nations in Metro Vancouver

This funding will be used to add First Nations zoning data within the Metro Vancouver Zoning research project (MVZ). This project promotes the objective of Indigenous-led housing development in urban areas as a strategy in affordable housing development, including the Senakw housing developments planned by the Squamish Nation on reserve lands alongside Vancouver. In addition to gathering publicly available zoning and creating shape files, the funding will permit a documentation of the results of First Nations zoning, as well as the development of 3-5 case studies of on-reserve housing projects completed or in progress on First Nations land, showcasing the role of zoning.

MVZ, funded by CMHC, assembles together the various zoning by-laws of the 21+ municipal governments of Metro Vancouver into a coherent map, which can then be used to understand the effects of zoning on regional land use and development patterns, with a special focus on how zoning influences the supply of housing (both market and non-market). Data is used to create maps and reporting on various metrics relevant to the effects of zoning on building in Metro Vancouver down to the lot level, including: allowable basic structure type, buildable square meters, number of dwelling units, and number of bedrooms. MVZ integrates zoning data with land use data and is committed to an open-access model of making this data available to users. The map to date is available here: This funding will facilitate the inclusion of First Nations zoning data in MVZ, which is of critical importance in the Vancouver area. Six of the nine First Nations in this region (including the Squamish, Musqueam and Tsleil-Waututh Nations) have comprehensive land codes, enacted through enabling legislation including the Indian Act and First Nations Lands Management Act.

These zoning rules enable particular kinds of on-reserve housing. This information is embedded within government websites or via other available data sources, but has not yet been combined into a zoning map through the creation of shape files. Doing this work requires labour-intensive work. By integrating First Nations data, First Nations, researchers and policy-makers will be able to understand how the zoning of housing developments taking place on First Nations land.

  • Innovating in Responsive Land Practices

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