The City of Vancouver works 24 hours every day of the year to support a safe and welcoming, vibrant and prosperous community.
City Council sets the vision for the community and adopts policies and a budget in support of that vision. The City Manager leads and manages City staff and departments in the delivery of a wide range of customer and resident-focused services—from fire and police services to summer playground programs—that support the safety and livability of this great city.
While it’s not practical to report every single accomplishment from 2020, the following represents a sample from this extraordinary year.
The City responded to the COVID-19 pandemic and economic crisis in numerous ways:
The City initiated a variety of social justice actions:
The City moved forward on climate action, adopting a moratorium on the creation of new, or expansion of existing, large-scale fossil fuel facilities, and updating the greenhouse gas emissions inventory for City operations and the whole community for the first time in a decade. This set the scene for City Council to consider a range of climate action and carbon neutrality goals for the City and the community.
The Department of Public Works added resiliency in community water delivery by completing construction of a new 4-million-gallon water reservoir at Water Station 1, which supplies about a quarter of the city’s drinking water.
City Council adopted The Heights District Plan after a lengthy public engagement process, establishing a vision for redevelopment of a former commercial shopping mall into a transformative and vibrant mixed-use community in central Vancouver.
Vancouver Fire Department’s Project Home Safe fire safety campaign reached more than 1,700 households using physically distanced and masked home visits to educate residents about simple ways to prevent common causes of fires.
The Urban Forestry Program planted nearly 1,490 new large-caliper trees, surpassing its United Nations Trees in Cities Challenge pledge to plant 1,000 trees.
The City hired a new Public Engagement Manager and offered residents a variety of online community engagement opportunities, including video open houses and presentations, surveys and more.
The City provided nearly $133,000 in Culture, Arts and Heritage grants to 11 organizations for projects including Ballet Foklorico’s Dia De Los Muertos celebration, Fort Vancouver-inspired “Nutcracker” costumes for Columbia Dance, an NAACP Vancouver black history art installation at the Vancouver Community Library, a film about Buffalo Soldiers in the Pacific Northwest, and several public art projects throughout the city.
The City sold the long-undeveloped Block 10 property in downtown Vancouver (between Columbia and Washington streets and W. 8th and 9th streets) to Holland Partner Group and construction began on a six-story multi-use building featuring retail space, a parking garage, office space and apartment units.
The City furthered its commitment to transparency by creating an interactive budget review tool and an online dashboard so residents can monitor the City budget in real time.
The Department of Public Works upgraded nearly 12,000 streetlights to energy-efficient LED (Light Emitting Diode) technology, resulting in projected energy savings of $500,000 a year.
The City and the Vancouver Housing Authority designed and secured funding for development of the Fourth Plain Community Commons project, which will provide affordable housing above a community center and food entrepreneur incubator kitchen in the heart of the Fourth Plain International District.
The City secured nearly $12 million in grants in a range of services to support inventorying brownfields (properties where possible presence of hazardous substances stymie development), stormwater improvements, transportation projects, and fire and public safety education efforts, equipment and training.
The City refinanced $7,045,000 in existing debt at a lower interest rate. The original debt was used to purchase City Hall, and the refinancing will save the City over $2.2 million in interest costs.