The world of urban planning and governing a city of over half a million people (like Vancouver) or a region of over two million (like Metro Vancouver) is a world of lingo, rules, regulations, policies and procedures far from the mind of the average person. By their actions, the key players (mayors and councils, public servants, consultants, planners, large developers, marketers and so on) are showing us how the system works. The system may seem opaque and complex, but it deeply affects all of us.

Here we select critical case studies, before council decisions are made, and we track them even afterward, in an effort to promote a better understanding of how our city (and region) are functioning today. And perhaps we can identify some things that need to change. The purpose of these case studies is to try to connect the dots.

In the course of this journey, we are finding that many individuals have knowledge and opinions that can contribute positively to change in Vancouver, but also that there is a tendency to speak out for various reasons. We encourage people to be constructive and get involved. That’s the only way to change things for the better.