A vision for the future: SFU adopts Burnaby 2065 Campus Master Plan
By Natalie Lim
Fifty years ago, SFU was celebrating its fifth anniversary. Although Freedom Square and the Reflecting Pond were already iconic campus locations, there was no pub on the mountain, the SFU Gallery had just opened, and UniverCity was still a set of blueprints. The Burnaby campus has come a long way since then—and the official adoption of the Burnaby 2065 Campus Master Plan means the next 50 years will be even more exciting.
After two years of research, engagement and consultation with the community, this master plan—a project led by SFU Campus Planning and Development—was adopted by SFU’s board of governors in March as the guiding document for future development on the Burnaby campus.
“SFU’s Burnaby 2065 Campus Master Plan exemplifies our vision and values as Canada’s Engaged University,” says SFU President Andrew Petter.
“I am particularly gratified by the ways in which the plan reflects and projects our commitments to enhance the student experience, respect Indigenous peoples and cultures, create vibrant campus spaces, and model sustainability in all that we do.”
From more venues that showcase local art, music and culture to a mobility corridor that will enhance accessibility to creative methods of integrating greenery into the campus, construction projects described in the plan are built around seven guiding principles that align with SFU’s broader mission. These principles include enhancing connectivity and movement, fostering sustainability and resilience, and supporting Indigenization across the campus.
“We wanted this plan to reflect the wants, needs and values of the SFU community,” says Elizabeth Starr, campus planner. “During the consultation process, we gathered input in the form of interviews, open houses, and an interactive map-based survey.”
“The result is a plan inspired by and created for the community—one that celebrates our remarkable architectural legacy and builds on the strengths of our location while providing opportunities for gathering, celebration and movement across the campus.”
The plan in action
While some projects outlined in the master plan may not materialize until 2065, there are exciting initiatives already underway. The new Corix Biomass plant, set to complete construction this fall, will reduce greenhouse gas emissions on the Burnaby campus by 80 percent. The biomass plant is just one example of how projects laid out in the plan will help SFU achieve its goals—in this case, reducing SFU’s carbon footprint in line with the university’s 2020-2025 Strategic Sustainability Plan.
Another project, the First Peoples’ Gathering House, is slated for completion in 2023. In response to a recommendation by SFU’s Aboriginal Reconciliation Council, the Gathering House will act as a shared social space for SFU’s Indigenous community, as well as a cultural hub for the use and education of SFU community members.
Who can use the plan?
The Burnaby 2065 Campus Master Plan lays out a framework that will guide SFU’s evolving physical campus over the next 50 years. Anyone interested in developing the campus, whether a faculty member interested in upgrading their department’s research facilities or a student with an idea for a new art installation, can look to the master plan for direction.
A bright vision for the future
As the world navigates an unprecedented time of change and uncertainty due to COVID-19, envisioning brighter futures can be one source of hope. The Burnaby 2065 Campus Master Plan provides a bold vision to work towards, and a reminder that the SFU campus—and the community that gives it life—will still be here in 50 years, with doors open to all who want to connect, learn and engage.