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City of Vancouver SEFC Project Office

The City of Vancouver created the SEFC Project Office to oversee the development of the SEFC city-owned lands, representing the city as a property owner, developer and development partner. The SEFC Project Office plays a unique role, acting as a liaison internally – between the city’s planning, development, engineering and sustainability departments and the Vancouver Park Board – and externally, between the various developers, architects and consultants who would develop the land over the course of several years.

Established in May 2005 at an on-site location, the SEFC Project Office initially focused on the development of Area 2A, the site of the Olympic Village. Its first major tasks included the consolidation and subdivision of the city-owned lands, procurement of environmental approvals for the foreshore and uplands development, selection of a developer for the building sites, and direct coordination of designers and contractors for the public spaces. The SEFC Project Office has also acted as the city liaison with Vancouver’s 2010 Olympic Organizing Committee (VANOC) for all matters related to the Vancouver Olympic Village. Learn more about the role of the Project Office in Chapter Two: Planning + Olympics.

Graham McGarva


SEFC from 1996 to the present. Starting as Stanley Kwok’s urban design consultant for the initial concept and policy stages, Graham and his team continued as prime consultant from the Atheletes’ Village Olympic bid process through to the approval of the SEFC Official Development Plan in 2005. Since then, VIA Architecture has rezoned the triangular Hinge Park site at First Avenue and Columbia Street for the post-Olympics phase of Millennium Water, continuing Graham’s full SEFC cycle from planning inception to architectural execution.

An early development plan application for SEFC submitted by VIA Architecture, PWL Partnership and Hay & Company contained a suite of poems as part of its urban design principles. The following excerpt paints a picture of the ever-changing landscape at SEFC:

Tidal flats and inlet,
Life dug from the ooze,
Ship slips, loading docks & rail tracks.
Salt, Best, Canron.
Remembering and reusing stuff,
Keeping on trucking,
Working life amid the revelation of water.
Peeling back the industrial wall,
Renewing access denied for a century,
Building future on firm ground.
-Graham McGarva

Mark Holland

HB Lanarc Consultants Inc.

Mark Holland was instrumental in building the sustainability agenda for the City of Vancouver in the late 1990s in his role as the sustainable development planner and project coordinator for SEFC. Mark was integral to researching and writing the SEFC Policy Statement as well as three of the ensuing action plans: The SEFC Energy Strategy, The SEFC Water and Waste Management Plan, and The SEFC Urban Agriculture Strategy. Mark co-founded Holland Barrs Planning in 2001 and is currently a Principal at HB Lanarc, a planning and design firm in Vancouver.

Ian Smith


As a Senior Planner in the City of Vancouver’s Central Area Planning Division, Ian led the planning process for SEFC beginning in 1997. He was instrumental at assembling the advisory group, commissioning consultant reports, facilitating meetings internally and with the public, creating the policy statement and the Official Development Plan and passing key reports through city council. Ian is currently the Manager of Development at the City of Vancouver’s SEFC Project Office. Ian coordinated all aspects of the development between the city and Millennium – from the master plan and rezoning to permitting and construction. He is the city representative responsible for the construction of the affordable housing units and the community centre. Following completion and delivery of the site to Vancouver’s Olympic Committee – after more than 12 years of working on SEFC – Ian plans to retire to Nova Scotia and focus on golf and kayaking.

Habitat Island at low tide. Danny Singer, April 14, 2009.