ULI Spring 2014: UniverCity Property Tour Slideshow

ULI_Property Tour_Feature

By Mike Ratliff, Senior Associate Editor

MHN had the opportunity to tour the model sustainable community UniverCity while visiting Vancouver for ULI’s 2014 Spring Meeting. The master-planned development atop Burnaby Mountain (and adjacent to Simon Fraser University) is currently home to 3,500 people, though roughly 10,000 will live there when the project is complete.

From residential, to retail, to office, to education, UniverCity has it all. The project’s roots date back to 1963, when architects Arthur Erickson and Geoff Massey submitted their initial plan for SFU, envisioning UniverCity as the anchor point for a residential community on Burnaby Mountain. In 1995, negotiations between SFU and the City of Burnaby facilitated the transfer of 790 acres of university-owned land to the City. In return, the City granted SFU development approval to begin planning what come to be known as UniverCity. The City of Burnaby approved the Official Community Plan in 1996, and construction began in 2003.

The SFU Community Trust oversees development, while private investors build on 99-year leased land. Forty percent of the residents are affiliated with the university (either as a student, faculty member, or staff member), while the remaining 60 percent moved to UniverCity due to its unique location (the development is surrounded by over 1,000 acres of forest park) and sustainable features. Development is guided by North America’s first comprehensive green zoning bylaw that requires every building is at least 30 percent more energy efficient and 40 percent more water efficient than homes built elsewhere. In addition, the newly opened childcare facility is the country’s greenest—and first net-zero—building.

(Turn captions on by clicking on the dialogue icon on the lower right hand side of the slide show for more details. The map below will help with orientation.)

Univer City Planning Map

UniverCity master plan map, courtesy SFU Community Trust.