The Built Environment in BC

At the Real Estate Foundation of BC, we know that communities of all sizes have a role to play in shaping a sustainable future for our province. That’s why we’ve identified the built environment as a priority area for research and grant-making.

For the purposes of our research and grant-making, we define the built environment to include the following:

  • Integrated communities 
  • Housing
  • Buildings, infrastructure and energy
  • Transportation

Preliminary Research

In 2015, REFBC initiated a multi-phase research study on the state of built environment sustainability in BC. Working with Modus Planning, Design and Engagement Inc., research was conducted on the current status, trends, drivers and barriers to built environment sustainability in BC. This included a literature review, key informant interviews, and focus groups with professionals and leaders in the field.

The research produced two reports, which are now available:

Public Opinion Poll

To build on our research, REFBC commissioned a public opinion on sustainability and the built environment. McAllister Opinion Research polled 1,701 of BC residents and asked for their opinions on the communities they live in, their attitudes towards sustainable practices and their preferences for a community’s built form.

The poll results are available in two formats:

Accelerating Progress

In the spring of 2016, REFBC and Modus invited leaders, planners and experts from all four sectors of the built environment to a half-day workshop in Vancouver, BC. We shared our research in advance and asked participants to prioritize interventions and strategies that will lead to a more sustainable built environment for BC. Participants also gave input on ways to build a collaborative movement that draws on the strengths of diverse organizations to accelerate progress.

Following the workshop, REFBC and Modus produced two reports:

The workshop was filmed and the videos are available on our YouTube channel:

Next Steps

Over the coming months, REFBC will connect with key interested partners and:

  • Report back to participants and keep them informed;
  • Refine and strengthen the proposed collaboration model;
  • Examine a governance and leadership structure for collaboration;
  • Map out a vision, framework and key interventions to begin working on;
  • Determine sources of funding to resource the initiative.