Final Drafts of Campus Vision 2050, the Land Use Plan and Housing Action Plan

The past 18+ months of deep public engagement and detailed technical work has led to an ambitious plan for how the UBC Vancouver campus will change over the coming decades, consisting of three major components, which you can download and review at the links below:

  • Campus Vision 2050: Shaping the Future of UBC Vancouver (the Vision): a high-level description of how the campus and neighbourhoods will evolve over the long-term, including its general design and character and where and how much development will occur. (Download)
  • Updated Housing Action Plan (HAP): Board-approved policy that guides how UBC uses its land and financial resources to meet the community’s housing needs on the Vancouver campus. (Download)
  • Amended Land Use Plan (LUP): a provincially-adopted document regulating campus development that enables implementation of the Vision and HAP. (Download)

The three draft documents will be presented to the UBC Board of Governors at a special meeting on October 16th, where the Board will receive the Vision and HAP for information and consider referring the LUP to a legislatively required public hearing on the proposed amendments to the LUP.

The Campus Vision 2050 process has involved extensive feedback from the community and Musqueam, which was integrated after each round of engagement and reflected in updated materials. Public engagement included workshops, a design charrette, open houses, stakeholder meetings, and surveys resulting in over 13,000 engagement touchpoints.

The outcomes of the process respond to input from the UBC community, campus residents and Musqueam and balance a range of university priorities. The result is a long-range plan for how the campus will evolve over the next 30 years to support the needs of the university, its students, faculty, residents and staff, and Musqueam, including:

  • at least 20 percent more academic space for teaching, learning, research and partnerships
  • housing 24,000 more people on campus over the next 30 years, for a total student housing and neighbourhood population of 53,000 in 2050
  • directly providing non-market housing for nearly 25,000 people annually in student housing and faculty/staff rental, including at least 3,300 new student beds and 1,000 replacement student housing beds as a priority
  • a doubling of neighbourhood residential development over 30 years, which will enable UBC to deliver more housing options for UBC faculty, students and staff, more support for academic excellence, more and better campus amenities and infrastructure and extending SkyTrain to campus
  • a strong Musqueam presence through landscapes, plantings and other prominent campus features that embody Musqueam values and create a sense of welcome to Musqueam territory
  • creating an ecologically rich campus connected to its unique natural setting through strategies to retain and enhance the ecology and biodiversity of the campus, ranging from protecting and improving existing high-value ecological areas to creating new green spaces
  • a comprehensive suite of amenities, services and infrastructure to support the future population

How public engagement shaped the outcome

Early in the process, the community identified and shaped the major themes of the process, including guiding principles like: “Confront the affordability crisis.” Through each subsequent phase of engagement and planning, the Vision, HAP and LUP were revised in response to community feedback.

Here are some examples of how community input made a difference:

  1. Building more housing for the UBC community – To support and balance housing needs and respond to significant community interest and expectations, UBC integrated the five-year update to its Housing Action Plan (HAP) into the Campus Vision 2050 process. The updated HAP proposes 30 policies as UBC’s comprehensive response to the affordability crisis, including significantly increasing rental housing (most being discounted housing for faculty/staff), adding more student beds, growing UBC’s rent-geared-to-income program and expanding the faculty home ownership program.
  2. Amenities and coordination of services – Amenities and services were considered through each phase of the engagement and planning process. Community feedback highlighted the importance of campus amenities as well as coordinating with service providers such as VSB, grocery stores, fire services and health care to meet the needs of the growing population.
  3. Location and form of development – A strong desire for more sustainable forms of development, such as six-storey wood-frame construction and significant new open and green spaces, resulted in strategic placement of taller buildings to enable larger open space areas, and predominant reliance on mid-rise buildings to support affordability and sustainability and integration with surrounding neighbourhoods.
  4. Prioritizing climate action as its own ‘Big Idea’ – The first draft of the ‘Big Ideas’, which are defining features of the Vision, integrated climate action throughout, but strong community feedback resulted in the creation of a standalone idea focused on advancing UBC’s role as a leader in climate change mitigation and adaptation.
  5. Preserving green academic land – The first draft of the Vision proposed locating future student family housing in the Totem Field research area, but following discussions with researchers and student families, it was revised to preserve this land for research by concentrating future student family housing in the Acadia future planning area.
  6. Musqueam presence – Through an engagement process co-developed with Musqueam, Campus Vision 2050 was shaped to feature Musqueam community interests, such as a robust sense of Musqueam presence on campus, particularly at arrival points, strengthened Indigenous land stewardship, and deeper coordination and planning for housing and SkyTrain on the Point Grey peninsula.
  7. Biodiversity and ecology policy commitments – An early draft of the amendments to the Land Use Plan did not include specific references to biodiversity or ecology. Following discussions with faculty and community members, a section was added on biodiversity and ecology, including policies to integrate biodiversity strategies into future plans.

This is a snapshot of how community interests shaped the outcomes. Beyond these examples, community feedback also ensured the Vision and plans integrate ideas and directions to address other critical interests such as ensuring the campus is accessible and barrier free, prioritizing sustainable transportation options, and fostering community-building social interaction. Community input has been integral to the creation of the Vision, LUP amendments and updates to HAP, helping to shape the process itself and the final outcomes.

You can learn more about the engagement process by reading Engagement Summary: Needs and Aspirations; Engagement Summary: 30-Year Vision; and the most recent report to the Board of Governors.

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