(Image asset courtesy of SFU, photo illustration by Chris Ho/The Peak)
By: Trevor Steele, Peak Associate


Over the coming years, SFU Campus Planning and Development, along with planning firm Urban Strategies, will be designing a new vision for Burnaby campus, and they are looking for student input.

     The plan, titled SFU Burnaby 2065, will provide a framework for the buildings, landscapes, public spaces, and on-campus movement of the next 50 years.

     The planning process began in early 2018 and will conclude in the summer of 2019. It will involve a series of open houses as well as an interactive survey students and faculty can use to provide their input.

     The survey, which takes approximately 10 to 15 minutes to complete, asks respondents how they get to and around campus, which places they enjoy on campus, and which aspects of the campus should change. SFU faculty, students, and employees are invited to fill out the survey at sfuburnaby2065.ca/survey until August 3. According to Urban Strategies representatives during an email interview with The Peak, there have been approximately 950 responses so far.

     The Peak conducted its own informal survey of two SFU students to see what they liked about the Burnaby campus and what could be improved. When asked what should be changed on campus, fourth-year history student Charlotte Scott replied that the school should implement “a more safe and direct passage from the SFU transportation centre bus stop to the school, one that doesn’t make you cross the street, or go through an underground parking, and more outside seating areas.”

     Her concerns about pedestrian safety were echoed by Urban Strategies, who identified “the Transportation Centre at Gaglardi Way and University Drive; the experience at the edges of the campus along the ring roads; or accessing the campus from parking” as areas needing improvement.  

     Second-year business student Omar Rasheed felt that “more paint and brightness on the university buildings, not just concrete” would make the campus nicer. Both Scott and Rasheed said that the area they liked most on campus was the reflection pond and surrounding area.

     According to Urban Strategies, the plan will address potential transportation improvements on the Burnaby campus by “better supporting the central spine with new secondary connections across campus,” as well as to and from campus by supporting projects such as the long-awaited gondola up Burnaby Mountain.

     While the effects of these larger-scale changes may not be felt by current students, the plan developed by Urban Strategies will also look to address issues that can be improved on a shorter time-scale, such as a lack of spaces for arts, culture, and recreation — “the spaces to support day-to-day community life.”

     SFU’s Burnaby campus design has won numerous awards, including the 2007 Royal Architectural Institute of Canada’s Prix du XXe siècle (20th century prize).