Between the Motions: Councillors hear presentation on Campus Vision 2050

During another short AMS Council meeting last night, councillors were updated on plans for the future of the UBC Vancouver campus and asked to help engage students.

Here’s what you might’ve missed.

Councillors discuss Campus Vision 2050

Council heard a presentation on Campus Vision 2050, an effort to plan campus land use in the coming decades, by Joanne Proft and Aviva Savelson from UBC Campus and Community Planning.

Proft said this was a “once every 15 to 20 years opportunity to vision what the UBC campus is going to be like in the future.” She also highlighted their efforts on Indigenous engagement, saying Campus Vision 2050 is “developing a whole new way of engaging with Musqueam on land use planning.”

She also outlined the “five big ideas” that Campus Vision 2050 is built around: the learning city, affordable housing, biodiverse and resilient landscapes, building smaller communities and connection with the rest of Metro Vancouver.

According to Proft, Campus Vision 2050 is targeting an increase of 3,300 student resident beds and a doubling of the non-residence population on campus, which currently stands at around 15,000. That growth could be achieved by building up or building out, she said.

Savelson said they were doing the presentation to “connect with all of the student associations and student government because student involvement is really important in this.” She ended the presentation by asking Council members to fill out their survey and “share [it] with [their] student associations and [their] networks.”

AMS President Eshana Bhangu pressed the presenters on their plan to add 3,300 student housing beds in ten years, noting that UBC has added over 6,000 beds in the last ten years. Proft told Bhangu that the market rental housing offered by UBC is “also a really important supply of student housing” and that the 3,300 beds is “a target, it’s not an end-state.”

Bhangu eventually said the goal of 3,300 “just doesn't seem ambitious.”

Board of Governors representative Max Holmes commented that “the AMS should have had a plan before the engagement process” and suggested that the AMS not use “communications material that's as boring as UBC's.”

Councilor Matthew Ho asked whether academic infrastructure like lecture-recording equipment was part of the plan. Along with housing, Campus Vision 2050 includes land use planning related to academic buildings.

Proft said “we’re creating the container” of use of campus space and that the Provost’s Office would be responsible for those changes. She added that lecture-recording equipment would be included in UBC’s academic infrastructure plan.