Building conundrum

Nov 28, 2002, vol. 25, no. 7



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Twenty-six acres and what shall we build? That's the question confronting the British Columbia Institute of Technology, Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design, Simon Fraser University and the University of British Columbia as they contemplate the future of the Great Northern Way site in Vancouver.

The post-secondary consortium will meet in November to plan its next step. But a class of Simon Fraser University undergraduates, members of the first semester in dialogue at the downtown Harbour Centre campus, has already studied the project, researched the issues and come up with a host of interesting, and perhaps inspiring, ideas for the future of the mid-city site.

“Student plans call for an interdisciplinary campus that will be an exciting place for education, research, business and leisure,” says Mark Winston, fellow at the Wosk centre for dialogue and director of the dialogue semester. “They hope to spark discussion with this timely report.”

Among the ideas is a centre of human built environments focusing on urban studies and buildings with living walls covered in vegetation. They also suggest using the city as a classroom to explore social issues and their relationships to applied arts and technology.

Community participation is actively encouraged. One proposal recommends that a working group of student and neighbourhood rep-resentatives ensure that plans for retail development reflect the values of the campus. The full report can be found at www.sfu.ca/dialogue/undergrad/gnwc.html (http://www.sfu.ca/dialogue/undergrad/gnwc.html)

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