Complete Communities Initiative

The BC Ministry of Housing established the Complete Communities Initiative to support local governments in meeting the third commitment of the BC Climate Action Charter – creating complete, compact, and energy-efficient communities. 

Driven by the Ministry of Housing’s Planning and Land Use Management Branch (PLUM), the collaborative effort involved contributions from many stakeholders, including: 

  • a series of User Conferences for BC Local Government and First Nations staff, hosted by ICI Society (held in February-March 2023); 
  • the Complete Communities Guide authored by PLUM and Urban Systems Ltd; 
  • a $10M funding program administered by the Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM); and 
  • the Spatial Access Measures dataset, the result of a granular analysis undertaken by Statistics Canada to quantify access to services and amenities via public transportation, walking, and cycling. 

Spatial Access Measures in BC

As part of the Complete Communities Initiative, the BC Ministry of Housing collaborated with Statistics Canada to develop a set of indicators measuring access to services and amenities using active (walk, roll, bike, etc.) and public transportation. Available at the Dissemination Block level, these Spatial Access Measures include a granular analysis of access to a variety of amenities across British Columbia such as banks, grocery stores, libraries, and pharmacies. The work expands on previous spatial analysis tools, such as Statistics Canada’s 2021 Proximity Measures Database

Communities may use the Spatial Access Measures when conducting geospatial assessments of their community’s completeness to identify current strengths, opportunities, and challenges, and to determine potential actions to increase their completeness. A list of the indicators included in the dataset is provided below. For a description of the database and methodology, see Accessibility Measures in BC and the Complete Communities Program

  • Amenity Dense Areas
  • Hardware Stores
  • Places of Employment
  • Banking Facilities
  • Health Care Facilities
  • Places of Worship
  • Car Share Services
  • K-12 Education Facilities
  • Post Offices
  • Child Care Facilities
  • Libraries
  • Restaurants, Bars, and Cafes
  • Grocery Stores
  • Pharmacies
  • Sports and Recreational Facilities

The complete Spatial Access Measures dataset is publicly available for download from ICI Society. For use in geospatial assessments, the 2021 Census Dissemination Block Boundary Files can be downloaded from Statistics Canada. 

The Society is also publishing a Web Map to allow users to easily view and analyze the geographic data at a glance, which will be available soon.