Welcome to the UTown@UBC blog, where I'll be exploring all of the things that make living, working and learning at UBC so wonderful!
Who am I? My name is Gabriella, and I am the Community and Online Engagement Coordinator for UTown@UBC. I am also a UBC alumna who just couldn't get enough of this campus in my four short years here, and had to come back for more!
Built on one of the most beautiful areas in BC (if not all of Canada), the UBC Vancouver campus is a very special place and UTown@UBC is a very unique community. Although the idea to create a residential community on campus started near the turn of the 20th century, it was not until the late 1980's that the vision for UTown@UBC really started to emerge. In a short amount of time, a vibrant, sustainable community has emerged and has helped contribute to the social fabric of life at UBC, transforming the university from a commuter campus and bringing together diverse groups of students, staff, faculty and other residents.
Visit this blog from time to time to find out more about some of the great things going on at UTown@UBC. In the meantime, here are a few of my favourite things at UBC!
Favourite Public Realm Improvement: Returning to campus after several years away, it was immediately obvious that UBC has undergone tremendous changes lately, particularly when in comes to public, outdoor spaces, which have been vastly improved. In my opinion, one of the most stunning (and functional) Public Realm improvements is the cascading water feature on University Boulevard. Not only is it beautifully designed, creating a little oasis right near the heart of campus, but it's the perfect example of UBC's committment to sustainability. Believe it or not, that glorious rain Vancouver is so well-known for is collected through this feature and stored in a cistern underneath University Square. It is then slowly released into the earth, watering the nearby plants when eneeded and preventing cliff erosion that comes with heavy rainfall. Beauty and function at it's best!
Favourite Campus Eatery: Definitely Blue Chip Cookies. You would not believe the number of requests I get from friends and fellow UBC alums asking me to stop by Blue Chip on Friday afternoons before meeting them after work. The folks there probably wonder why I am always ordering six Marbellous cookies...they aren't all for me, I swear!
Favourite Building on Campus: CIRS (Centre for Interactive Research on Sustainability) has quickly become my favourite architectural wonder on campus. On a sunny day, the natural light that filters in is simply beautiful, and the wooden, momentous frame structure and large openings maximize both daylight and views, creating a sense of oppenness, almost like being outdoors. The building is also a "Living Lab" for leading-edge research, demonstrating new and innovative green building techniques. Plus, The Loop Cafe is a great place to grab lunch; they promote sustainability by using as little disposable packaging as possible, and they feature different and delicious soups and stews every day!
Favourite Bit of Greenspace: Khorana Park in Wesbrook Village is tranquil and beautiful. It's definitely worth the short walk to visit!