When UBC was first established over 100 years ago, a lack of transportation and housing infrastrucure meant that people shuttled to and from the University, resulting in long commutes, a lack of engagement, and negative environmental impact.
This has changed with the development of UTown@UBC, which has helped transform the University from a commuter campus to a place where people can live, work and learn! By the latter half of the 20th century, sustainability was brought to the forefront, and UBC began to earn a reputation as a leading educational institution. Attracting top-notch professors and scholars was crucial to maintaining UBC's standing as a world-class institution and we recognized the need to develop a community on campus to help recruit and retain first-rate students, faculty and staff, and to keep them engaged!
The idea of establishing a university town isn’t new; in fact, many of the world’s leading universities, such as Oxford, Cambridge and Berkeley, are renowned for their vibrant, unique campus communities! UBC is regularly ranked as one of the top 40 universities in the world, and is committed to providing its community of globally-significant scholars with a beautiful, vibrant campus community where they can live, work, learn and help the university achieve its academic mission "to be a globally significant university and a leader in student experience, teaching and research."
The vision for UTown@UBC is simple: create a vibrant, sustainable community on campus, where students, staff, faculty and other residents can live, work and learn together. In addition to reducing the number of cars to and from campus, and creating a sense of community on campus, the goals of UTown@UBC are:
- Providing family housing options for members of the UBC community
- Creating a compact community that is cyclist and pedestrian friendly
- Showing leadership in sustainable development
- Honouring the natural landscape and environment that define UBC Vancouver
- Offering the best in urban living where UBC’s libraries, museums, concert halls and theatre venues are complemented by shops and services
- Contributing to the intellectual, cultural and recreational well-being of the region
- Creating jobs and attracting investment and talent to the region