UBC recognizes that improving the quality of our public realm enhances the educational experience and nurtures outdoor learning. It also recognizes that navigating around the Vancouver campus is a bit of a pain right now.

In the lead-up to this academic year, a series of new pedestrian pathways, outdoor furniture, courtyards and lighting upgrades were completed on campus, with a significant number of elements still underway. The most extensive and noticeable projects currently underway are the Public Realm upgrades on University Boulevard, Main Mall, Memorial Road, and Health Sciences Courtyard.

So what's it all about? Through the Public Realm Plan, UBC is creating areas on campus that invite social interaction, support learning and connect students, faculty, staff and residents. This significant investment in new and upgraded infrastructure supports the goals set out in Place & Promise: The UBC Plan.

UBC’s Public Realm Plan is a 15-year, $46 million plan to improve and update a network of outdoor public spaces so that they might:

  • Animate, invigorate and bring life to campus.
  • Enhance the educational experience with informal learning opportunities.
  • Promote the sharing of ideas, creative expressions and interaction across disciplines.
  • Support and nurture the physical and mental health of students, faculty and staff.
  • Instill pride and a strong sense of place that showcases the culture of UBC.

The intent is that the outdoor spaces be economically sustainable, well used and supported by the community.

Beyond aesthetic enhancement to the campus, all public realm upgrades improve usability, environmental integrity and quality, safety and security through:

  • Improved night lighting for pedestrians;
  • Conversion of roads to pedestrian only corridors;
  • Well drained pathways;
  • Site furnishings (e.g. benches and tables) for informal study and social interaction;
  • Reduction of paved surfaces, new planting and ecological stormwater management;
  • Reduction of the number of cars on campus by encouraging walking and the use of public transit.

Enhancing the pedestrian experience on campus is an integral part of the Public Realm Plan. Click here to learn more about the Pedestrian Core project.

A status update on campus construction projects is available on the Infrastructure Development website.

Download the Public Realm Plan Steering Committee (PRPSC) Terms of Reference.

Big thanks go to the campus community for its continued support and patience during this period of intense construction activity.