Accessible City: Richmond, BC

picture of Richmond City

The City of Richmond has a holistic approach to access and is committed to going beyond minimum accessibility standards in the built environment. Since the 1980s, Richmond has adopted policies to improve accessibility and today, access and inclusion are themes embedded throughout City planning documents. These strategies emphasize the need for accessible and inclusive neighbourhoods to facilitate aging in place, improve access to services and respond to community members of all abilities.

History, vision & strategy
  • Passed an Access and Inclusion Policy in 1981
  • Established the Richmond Committee on Disability in 1985
  • Adopted the ‘Policy 2012 - City Buildings – Accessibility‘ in 1994
  • Developed ‘Accessibility Guidelines for City-Owned Buildings’ in 1994
  • Maintained two City staff positions dedicated to access and inclusion since 1997
  • Identified accessibility as a key policy issue to be addressed over the next 25 years in the City’s Official Community Plan
What are they doing?

The City of Richmond created and maintains a number of accessibility-related programs, projects and initiatives such as:

  • Program to install accessible pedestrian signals at all new traffic intersections and signaled pedestrian crossings;
  • Retrofit program for pedestrian signals at existing traffic and signaled pedestrian intersections (approximately 20 annually);
  • Retrofit program for curb cuts;
  • Capital program to fund accessibility upgrades to bus stops, in partnership with the transit authority;
  • Annual facility audits to identify and plan for accessibility upgrades to City infrastructure;
  • Zoning bylaws for the development of accessible housing;
  • ’Accessible Design Guidelines’ for City-owned facilities, including child care and affordable housing developments; 
  • Ongoing accessibility improvement to the City’s 73+ kilometers of trails;
  • Proactive audits on 20% of 150 buildings each year;
  • Specialized staff training to raise accessibility awareness; 
  • Ongoing consultations with Richmond Centre of Disability (RCD) on programs and audits;
  • RCD members on other City advisory committees; and
  • Participates in facility assessments through the Accessibility Certification Program.
Places of note
  • Richmond Olympic Oval
  • City Centre Community Centre
  • Steveston Village accessible intersection
Accessibility resources