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Making Communities More Livable, Sustainable, and Resilient.

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Since 1988, Harris Consulting Inc. has been providing urban planning, market-based economic analysis and strategic real estate development advice to government, institutional and corporate clients across Canada and internationally.

Harris Consulting Inc. is led by Gordon Harris, FCIP one of Canada’s leading providers of strategic land use planning, and development advice rooted in real world market-based economic analysis.

Gordon Harris is an urban planner and as President and CEO of SFU Community Trust is leading the development of UniverCity, the award-winning sustainable urban community on the Burnaby Mountain endowment lands of Simon Fraser University.



Services & Approach

Rectangle 4 Urban Development Strategies
Rectangle 4 Planning for an Aging Population
Rectangle 4 Public Policy Development
Rectangle 4 Real Estate Market Analysis
Rectangle 4 Community Master Plans
Rectangle 4 Real Estate Asset Management Planning
Rectangle 4 Community Growth Strategies
Rectangle 4 General Real Estate Advice



Building community at any scale must start with the exploration of how all the pieces will fit together. Harris Consulting begins with an understanding of the underlying market dynamics and other external influences that will help shape the project and determine its potential viability, feasibility, and suitability.

We bring expertise in community engagement and organizational change and capacity to projects, with the understanding that that good process leads to better outcomes. Working with clients to manage change and build capacity helps ensure successful implementation.

Harris Consulting is determined that every project for every client must build equity. And the best way to do so is by creating urban features and connections that enhance livability, optimize longevity and sustainability, and focus on resilience. In other words, we help to make communities that work in the real world.

Typical projects range in scope and scale from development strategies for small urban infill sites and neighbourhoods to large master-planned communities. Our land demand assessments, market positioning, and land allocation strategies and development sequencing strategies are all rooted in an in-depth understanding of prevailing and anticipated market conditions and influences.

Our approach places profitable sustainability at the forefront, ensuring that the work we do on behalf of all our clients will create value while meeting the challenge of enhancing the livability, longevity and resilience of the built environment.

We provide our services to a wide range of organizations involved in the planning, development, and use of urban land in Canada and abroad including land owners and developers, all levels of government, foundations, institutions, and non-governmental agencies.


Representative Projects

UniverCity – for the past nine years Gordon Harris, Principal of Harris Consulting, has led the planning and development of UniverCity, the award-winning sustainable community on Burnaby Mountain in the Metro Vancouver region. This low-carbon community of 5,000 (with a planned population of 9,000+) is being developed on lands owned by Simon Fraser University and is creating endowment wealth for teaching and research at SFU. UniverCity is demonstrating global leadership in profitable sustainability through livable, affordable, and sustainable urban development.

Blatchford – in 2014 Harris Consulting provided strategic development advice to a multi-disciplinary team led by Perkins+Will Canada that produced the multiple-award winning Blatchford master plan for a world-leading sustainable community in downtown Edmonton, Alberta. Blatchford is the 200 hectares former Edmonton Municipal Airport site that will ultimately accommodate 30,000 residents in a transit-oriented sustainable community on the north edge of the city’s downtown urban core.

Grosvenor Ambleside – Harris Consulting played a role in the planning of Grosvenor Ambleside, a mixed-use urban waterfront project being developed by Grosvenor Americas. This project combines 98 terraced homes, local-serving retail and community facilities with a major public art installation by internationally renowned artist Douglas Coupland. The project will be a catalyst in revitalizing the century-old Ambleside Visage along Marine Drive in West Vancouver.

Australian National University – in 2015, as part of an international team led by Civitas Urban Design and Planning, Harris Consulting participated in the creation of a comprehensive urban design framework for the Union Court/University Avenue precinct at the Australian National University in Canberra. The urban design framework introduces a wide mix of urban uses including retail, office space, residential, and public open space in an academic setting to more fully integrate this campus entrance with the Canberra city core.

City to the Lake – as part of an ambitious and ongoing urban renewal initiative in downtown Canberra, Harris Consulting teamed up with Beasley & Associates in 2016 to deliver an intensive program of workshops, master classes, and public presentations on city building, community development, and public engagement (video link). This work shared the experiences of Vancouver and UniverCity to help the Australian Capital Territory government advance a master plan that will ultimately bring significant renewal and new population to the heart of Australia’s capital city.

Canada Line – during construction of the Canada Line, the 19 kilometre rapid transit line linking downtown Vancouver with the Vancouver International Airport, Harris Consulting developed an extensive Business Liaison Program to assist business in downtown Vancouver, along the Cambie Street corridor, and in Richmond during the intensive construction activity through each of these major retail precincts. The program resulted in a reduction of construction impacts on nearby businesses and positioned them for greater performance following the opening of the line just before the 2010 Olympic Games.

Toronto Office Coalition – in partnership with the Canadian Urban Institute, Harris Consulting produced “Business Competitiveness in the GTA: Why Toronto is Losing Ground.” This major research study looked at the impact of property tax inequities between Toronto and surrounding suburban jurisdictions and explored the implications for regional development patterns.

Powell Street / Port Lands Industrial Study – in collaboration with CitySpaces Consulting, in 2007 Harris Consulting undertook a comprehensive analysis of the extent and role of Vancouver’s port-related industrial lands. The study’s conclusions and strategic directions, based on an investigation of global port cities’ industrial strategies and policies, gave the City of Vancouver specific direction in protecting the valuable industrial portland assets and strategies for providing opportunities for industrial land expansion.


Representative Studies, Reports & Media


Strategic Alliances

Harris Consulting frequently collaborates with other firms across a wide range of design and technical disciplines to ensure that each client benefits from access to a diverse and accomplished team of consultants. The following firms and other organizations are among our established alliances:

Perkins + Will Canada
Jorden Cook Associates
Eric Vance & Associates
Canadian Urban Institute
Urban Innovation Network
Hank Dittmar Associates
Corneil Collaborative
Monkey Forest





604-377-6605 | info@harrisconsults.ca

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