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Head Master

An intelligent university community takes shape at the top of Burnaby Mountain.

Burnaby, British Columbia

Cap and Gown

The objective was to create a livable and sustainable community for up to 10,000 new residents on 65 hectares of land surrounding the existing SFU campus atop Burnaby Mountain.

Laying a Foundation

The plan is formed on four cornerstones of sustainability: environment, equity, economy and education. Significant effort was taken to create strong links with the natural landscape of the site, from its topography, watercourses and existing habitat to its magnificent mountaintop views. Comprehensive green building guidelines were put in place to ensure the buildings and site are environmentally sustainable for current and future UniverCity residents.

Important Subjects

The plan integrates a variety of housing options with a vibrant town centre that includes an outdoor plaza, restaurants, shops and services.

Getting Around

The urban design encourages a pedestrian-friendly environment, with narrow streets, traffic-calming circles and underground parking. An extensive network of pedestrian pathways and bike trails link residences to shops and services in the town core.

Project facts

Size: 65 ha.
Completed: 2003
Client: SFU Community Trust

Achievements & Awards

Canadian Institute of Planners, Award of Planning Excellence – Neighbourhood Planning

Federation of Canadian Municpalities Sustainable Communities, Award for Integrated Neighbourhood Development

Urban Land Institute, Award of Excellence

American Planning Association, National Planning Excellence Award for Innovation in Green Community Planning