Statement on land – Vancouver Action Plan 1976


“Land, because of its unique nature and the crucial role it plays in human settlements, cannot be treated as an ordinary asset, controlled by individuals and subject to the pressures and inefficiencies of the market. Private land ownership is also a principal instrument of accumulation and concentration of wealth and therefore contributes to social injustice; if unchecked, it may become a major obstacle in the planning and implementation of development schemes. Social justice, urban renewal and development, the provision of decent dwellings-and healthy conditions for the people can only be achieved if land is used in the interests of society as a whole.”

It’s ironic that this document was produced in Vancouver where land is now a hot commodity, people struggle to live, and we have the highest child poverty of all major Canadian cities.

The Vancouver Declaration and Vancouver Action Plan were co-authored by 24 leading figures in cities and housing, led by UN economist Barbara Ward. Who also, by the way, gave the very first Massey Lecture.

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