Creating a resilient, inclusive food systems in partnership with indigenous communities – Vancouver, Canada

Key Insights

  • Creating a resilient and equitable Food System by streamlining food throughout City policies
  • A multi-year public engagement process to create an inclusive policy Plan
  • Including Indigenous communities to align the Plan with the City’s commitment to Reconciliation


Vancouver, Canada, has a population of 662,248. In 2022, the city council of Vancouver approved the Vancouver Plan after a multi-year public engagement process consisting of four phases; Listen and Learn, Key Directions, Policy and Land Use Ideas, and Revising. It is a land use strategy to create a more liveable, affordable, and sustainable city for all and guides long-term growth for the next 30 years. This envisions a resilient and just Food System. It is supported by five Food System related policies. At the same time, food is also integrated into non-food policies, such as finance and urban planning. The Vancouver Plan aligns with the city’s commitment to becoming a City of Reconciliation, and as such, its outcomes aim to benefit marginalised communities, including Indigenous peoples, black individuals, people of colour, residents facing poverty, and other marginalised groups. The Plan was approved by the Council on July 22, 2022 and is now in its implementation phase.

Food Action Cities. (2023, November 21). Creating a resilient and just food system – Vancouver, Canada

Photo: by Claude Robillard through

The action and its aims

The aim of the Vancouver Plan is to create a more liveable, affordable, and sustainable city. This includes creating a resilient and equitable Food System. There are five policies in the plan focusing on Food Systems:

  • Enhance citywide food accessibility by backing food-related retail and services, and broaden commercial-retail opportunities across more neighbourhoods. Incorporate culturally appropriate choices where feasible.
  • Acquire additional space, reduce obstacles, and establish incentives for food and medicine gardens, urban farms, and harvesting to promote Reconciliation, amplify prospects for local food production, and foster a deeper connection to land and waters.
  • Bolster Vancouver’s food supply chains, encompassing food wholesale, retail, manufacturing uses, food hubs, farmers markets, and urban farms, and mitigate the displacement of these vital food resources.
  • Utilise new development or community infrastructure projects to seamlessly integrate community food assets, including spaces for cultural celebrations, neighbourhood food storage, cultivation, harvesting programming, and covered picnic facilities.
  • Address the impacts of climate change, biodiversity, water systems, and waste management within the food system.

When it was introduced

The Vancouver Plan was introduced by the city council of Vancouver in 2022 after a multi-year public engagement process. In this process, the city sent out surveys, held dialogue sessions and workshops, and engaged with partners such as the Metro Vancouver Aboriginal Executive Council, Neighbourhood Houses, the Vancouver Planning Commission, members of the Vancouver Immigration Partnership, and other community and educational partners. More about this process can be found here.

Why it was needed

Due to financial constraints caused by poverty and high prices of food, 10% of Vancouver households lack access to food. This percentage is higher among marginalized communities, like people of colour and Indigenous people. Important Indigenous food sources and practices around food have been erased as a result of colonization. Further, the government states that the food supply chains are vulnerable to disturbances from increasingly frequent global climate, health, political, or economic events. In response to these challenges, Vancouver is committed to envisioning resilient and equitable Food Systems.

Who initiated it, who is involved

The Vancouver Plan was established by the City of Vancouver. The City engaged with Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh Nations (the Nations), urban Indigenous Peoples, residents, senior governments and regional authorities, community groups, businesses, non-profits, civic advisory bodies, and other stakeholders. The process involved City Council and all departments of the City.

Impacts to date

The Plan was approved by the Council on July 22, 2022 and is now in its implementation phase. The staff are revising current plans and policies to ensure their alignment with the Vancouver Plan. Updates on the implementation phase can be found here.

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Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Food System

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) include a significant number of interconnected objectives related to agriculture and food.

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