Community Vibrancy Playbook


After many semesters of remote learning starting in 2020, campus life has returned to Burnaby Mountain. To welcome back students, staff, and faculty, and to plan for the next decade of campus life, SFU developed the SFU Burnaby Community Vibrancy Playbook.

The playbook is intended to guide the continuation of a welcoming, inspiring, and animated campus on Burnaby Mountain. Rooted in SFU’s values and priorities, the playbook suggests vibrancy initiatives related to the built environment, connecting to nature, food and retail, arts and culture, and community connections. The playbook is a simple, inspiring roadmap to enhance campus spaces and activities on Burnaby Mountain, and continue to make SFU Burnaby an exceptional place to study, work, and live. #SFUVIBES

Project Process

The Playbook was developed through a four-phase process.In spring 2021 (phase one), we began pre-planning. In summer 2021 (phase 2), we engaged the SFU Burnaby campus community. We hosted one-on-one meetings, launched an online ideas board (, hosted multiple advisory group meetings, and led online workshops. From this input, we developed the draft playbook. During fall 2021 (phase 3), we hosted more meetings and a pop-up event on campus. We also met with the Executive Committee, VP, and deans. During this time, we began to implement some of the “quick-start” vibrancy initiatives. In spring 2022, we finalized the playbook. We are continuing to implement the vibrancy initiatives.

Through weekly working group meetings, 14 interviews, an online platform, four community workshops, and a pop-up at convocation mall, we collected hundreds of ideas about how to increase campus vibrancy at SFU Burnaby.

Vibrancy initiatives

The playbook is guided by five principles:

  1. equity, diversity, and inclusion;
  2. accessibility and welcoming;
  3. sustainability and resilience;
  4. health and wellness, and
  5. Indigenization.

Some vibrancy initiatives already underway include food trucks, ping pong tables, public pianos, a community free-fridge, and large movable “SFU” letters. Over the next few years, we’re planning many other vibrancy initiatives too. This could include outdoor exercise equipment, seasonal festivals, community forests, an off-leash dog park, a vibrant food and event hall, murals, and a gondola connection to the Skytrain.


To ensure the vibrancy initiatives are implemented over the next 7-10 years, we developed an implementation framework. We are committed to:

  • Building a team to champion progress over time
  • Understanding costs and prioritizing actions to maximize impact and reach
  • Exploring funding opportunities such as capital budget allocation, crowdfunding, and donor outreach
  • Creating experiential learning opportunities by collaborating with faculty to integrate vibrancy work into class projects and research
  • Sharing the story and celebrating successes over the 7-10 year planning horizon
  • Reporting progress over time and keeping the playbook evergreen
  • Expanding to other campuses to build a unified yet distinct sense of vibrancy

Project Governance

Planning Committee

SFU Community Vibrancy Planning Committee

Planning Comittee Members

  • Gerald Gongos, Campus Planner, SFU Facilities Services;
  • Vaibhav Aurora, Vice-President, Events, Simon Fraser Student Society;
  • Jordan Greschner, Associate Director, Regional and Young Alumni, SFU Alumni Office;
  • Jessica Jutras, Project Manager, Community Vibrancy, SFU Ancillary Services;
  • Mark McLaughlin, Chief Commercial Services Officer, SFU Ancillary Services;
  • Ophelia Yu, Associate Director, SFU Alumni Office;
  • Efe Ahanmisi, Coordinator, SFU Alumni Office;
  • Clea Moray, UniverCity Community Association;
  • Annette Santos, Director, Student Engagement and Retentions, SFU Student Services;
  • Krystal-Lynn Ness, Associate Director, Buildings and Ground, SFU Facilities Services;
  • Sophie Burrill, Lecturer, Department of Mathematics, SFU Faculty of Science;
  • Holly Andersen, Associate Professor of Philosophy, SFU Philosophy Department;
  • Nick Sirski, Associate Director, Facilities, SFU Athletics & Recreation;
  • Claudia Wang, Director, Campus Administration, SFU Vancouver;
  • Sabine Bitter, Professor, SFU School for the Contemporary Arts;
  • Laura Kohli, Director, Communications & Marketing, SFU Vice-President, Finance and Administration Office;
  • Rudy Reimer, Associate Professor, SFU Archaeology;
  • Nicole Dorssers, Executive Director, SFU Alumni Office;


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MODUS is a Vancouver-based consulting firm specializing in planning, urban design, and public engagement. MODUS tackles tough problems to help communities and developers navigate the transition to sustainability, resilience and livability. Their approach is rooted in process excellence, creative urban design, and a razor-sharp focus on implementation. They work closely with clients and communities in order to draw out our collective insight and create a lasting legacy of healthy, sustainable projects and communities.