The vision for the overall University Boulevard precinct has three primary elements:
- University Gateway: as a key gateway and symbolic entrance to the campus, the precinct plays a significant role in expressing the identity and values of the university
- Vibrant Academic and Social Hub: the precinct will become the vibrant academic and social heart of the campus, a hub that draws people together for dialogue, celebration, innovation, recreation, study, fun and learning.
- Complete Community: The area will have diverse uses and services – including year-round non-market rental housing, student housing, student services, academic and recreational facilities, and open spaces – with great pedestrian and cyclist corridors and access to transit.
The University Boulevard Neighbourhood Plan area is located along University Boulevard between Wesbrook Mall and East Mall.
The University Boulevard Neighbourhood is located within the larger University Boulevard precinct (the area bound by Wesbrook Mall, University Boulevard, East Mall, and Student Union Boulevard), which includes GSAB, D.H. Copp, the UBC Bus Exchange and Gage South Student Housing, the new Alumni Centre, The Nest (SUB), MacInnes Field, and the new Aquatic Centre and a number of other buildings.
The original Neighbourhood Plan was adopted in 2004. Subsequent to its adoption, there has been a range of public and stakeholder engagement in the area; most recently there was extensive public and stakeholder consultation from January to June 2015 to update the Neighbourhood Plan, as part of a larger University Boulevard precinct planning process.
The 2015 planning process for the larger University Boulevard precinct resulted in:
- An amended University Boulevard Neighbourhood Plan
- Updated University Boulevard Design Guidelines
- Design concepts for the UBC Bus Exchange and Gage South Student Housing
- A design concept for the redesign of Wesbrook Mall between Student Union Boulevard and Thunderbird Boulevard, and
- Planning concepts for D.H. Copp and GSAB sites
For more on the 2015 consultation process, go here.
The University Boulevard Neighbourhood and surrounding precinct is envisioned as a vibrant academic and social hub that is a welcoming ‘front door’ for the university. The combination of academic and recreational facilities, shops and services, transit, and housing will help create a complete, sustainable community at this important campus arrival point.
The area will also include a number of dynamic open spaces that will support a range of events and recreational activities, and promote gathering and interaction.
Further detail on the features of the University Boulevard area available in the Design Guidelines.
Housing in the University Boulevard Neighbourhood Plan area includes rental housing units for people who work or study at UBC on the upper floors of buildings located along the north side of University Boulevard. Housing here will bring activity to the area throughout the day, on weekends and 12 months a year.
The larger University Boulevard precinct includes the Gage South Student Residence, which will be located above the planned new UBC Bus Exchange. The approved planning concepts for D.H. Copp and GSAB sites also hold the potential for some housing. Further planning on these sites will take place in 2016 as outlined below.
Construction has just been completed on the new Alumni Centre and The Nest (Student Union Building). Within the University Boulevard Neighbourhood, the following projects are scheduled for construction:
- Site B: 2016-2017 (development approved)
- Site D: To be determined
Within the broader University Boulevard precinct there are a number of projects planned or underway. These include:
- A new Aquatic Centre: 2016 (under construction)
- MacInnes Field: 2017-2018
- The UBC Bus Exchange and Gage South Student Housing: 2018-2019
- Wesbrook Mall reconstruction: 2018-2019
- D.H. Copp: ~2020
- GSAB South: post 2021
- GSAB North and War Memorial Gym: to be determined
Like any neighbourhood, University Boulevard will continue to develop and change over time. Implementation of the 2015 University Boulevard Neighbourhood Plan and Precinct Guidelines will take five years or more.
Planning for the area is ongoing and in 2016 Campus and Community Planning will report back to the Board on the next phase of planning for the GSAB site, including War Memorial Gym. Planning for D.H. Copp, a proposed mixed-use Campus as a Living Lab research project, is proceeding through the standard capital project approval process and will be presented to Board in mid-2016 with further details of the research and building programs.
The original University Boulevard Neighbourhood Plan was approved in January 2004 and was amended in June 2015, with approval from the UBC Board of Governors.
The updated University Boulevard Design Guidelines were also approved in June 2015.
University Boulevard Plans