Campus Greenway

grand promenade site photo
Campus Greenway study site from Gordon Head Rd to Sinclair Rd.

Campus Plan's 'Big Moves'

In 2016 the University of Victoria renewed its Campus Plan. The plan sets out a vision for the physical development of the Campus over the next 10 years with longer term considerations given for the next 25 years. The Plan’s direction is organized around a vision, open space framework, built form framework and mobility framework. In developing the plan, the university undertook broad public consultation with the campus community and neighbouring residents. The Campus Greenway (identified as the Grand Promenade in the Campus Plan) will implement ideas generated through the Campus Plan, focusing on the ‘Big Moves’ to renew the university’s commitment to walkability.

What is the Campus Greenway Landscape Plan?

The Campus Greenway represents a unique opportunity to address the Strategic Framework priority to ‘increase the vibrancy of campus life by enhancing the natural and built environment to create more opportunities for interaction and collaboration’ (Strategy 1.5). The Greenway will act as an academic and social hub along the primary east-west multi-modal pathway connecting buildings and public spaces on campus. It will contribute to the identity of the campus and also aid in fostering respect and reconciliation with Indigenous communities by contributing to a welcoming, inclusive campus environment for all.

The Landscape Plan and Design Guidelines will serve to support and coordinate the implementation of landscape and public realm improvements along the length of the Greenway. Improvements are expected to be phased and implemented over several years. The Guidelines were guided by the Campus Plan, Strategic Framework, Indigenous Plan and the Campus Cycling Plan.

What's included in the Landscape Plan? 

Key objectives

Five key objectives were identified by summarizing the project deliverables and Big Ideas from the Campus Plan. 

  1. Establish a Landscape Plan and Design Principles for the Campus Greenway, a critical and defining element of the 2016 Campus Plan. 
  2. Enhance the extraordinary academic environment that celebrates the spirit of place and contributes to a vibrant, inclusive campus. 
  3. Ensure that the health, vitality and maintenance of the existing mature trees will be a key driver of the design resolution. 
  4. Ensure that issues relating to personal safety and universal design are fully considered and addressed. 
  5. Foster respect and reconciliation with Indigenous communities and provide opportunities to include the entire university community in Indigenous-engaged learning to promote mutual understanding and respect. 

Guiding principles

  1. Embed Indigenous culture, language, history and connections to land into the design process. 
  2. Integrate mature and any new trees as key and defining features of the Greenway. 
  3. Create a variety of outdoor spaces integrated with the Greenway that support social and academic interaction. 
  4. Ensure design reduces conflicts between pedestrian, cyclists and service vehicles. 
  5. Embed demonstrated sustainability practices into every design solution. 
  6. Ensure the design of the Greenway responds to campus mobility and accessibility. 
  7. Ensure any design responds in a meaningful way to adjacent buildings and broader campus connectivity. 
  8. Ensure the entire extents of the Greenway is a safe, secure and inclusive path during all times and weather conditions. 
  9. Ensure all material are durable, regionally appropriate and adaptable over time.
  10. Ensure design presents a cohesive vision and narrative of the entire Campus Greenway. 
  11. Ensure design supports learning opportunities. 
  12. Ensure proposed design is economically sustainable and will be maintained over time.

Conceptual and spatial framework

The spatial framework integrates the metaphor of weaving, to ‘create a stronger, more durable and lasting tool that will serve the community’ through the following Big Ideas:

  • The Greenway expresses a gradient of character.
  • The Greenway (and people) take precedence.
  • The Greenway has a heart.
  • The Greenway is green in character.
  • The Greenway is a place not just a corridor.

Nodes

The concept of weaving will create a unified characteristic across the Greenway while the development of nodes will provide distinct programming opportunities. The identified nodes are:

  • Academic and Social Hubs: increase covered and uncovered seating areas, enhance lighting, install interpretive signage, and increase perennial planting to encourage collaboration, interaction and innovation.
  • Restoration Nodes: increase ecological identity through restoration of ecosystems, interpretive panels, and introduction of sustainable materials with an emphasis on Indigenous knowledge.
  • Gateways: provide distinct points of entry at the east and west entries of Campus through public art, UVic signage, enhanced lighting, wayfinding strategies and transition zones for multi-modal pathways.
  • Crossings: enhance pedestrian and cyclist accessibility and safety through ground plane treatment, wayfinding strategies and signage, and transitional zones for multi-modal pathways.
  • The Heart: increase tree vitality through decreased soil compaction, and increase pedestrian and cyclist paths to deter ‘desire lines’ through the lawn.

greenway-conceptual-framework.jpg

Design toolkit

The kit of parts provides material and planting palettes for tree protection, planting types, programming, storytelling elements, materials, and lighting to develop consistent design strategies on the concept plan to guide future decision making.  

Campus Greenway kit of parts.

Project updates 


 

Campus Greenway name

In December 2018, the Grand Promenade Landscape Plan was renamed to the Campus Greenway Landscape Plan to reflect feedback received during engagement with the campus Indigenous community.

Draft Landscape Plans

The following draft Landscape Plans were presented to campus stakeholders in March 2019.  

West Campus Greenway

The west area of the Greenway is characterised by the protected natural area of Bowker Creek, the University Club Pond, and a naturalized pathway alignment.

Central Campus Greenway

The Greenway’s central area has been identified as 'the Heart' of the Greenway due to it’s adjacency to First People’s House, Petch Fountain, the Quad, and the triple row of Oak Trees.

East Campus Greenway

The east area of the Greenway is the development site of the new Student Housing and Dining project, the design strategies and guidelines developed in the Greenway Plan will be implemented in to the landscape design developed by the Student Housing project team.

Community engagement 

Engagement framework

Community Engagement is an essential component of planning for the new Campus Greenway Landscape Plan. We want to hear from students, staff, community members and other stakeholders to help shape plans for the project. 

Future opportunities for community engagement will be posted via this website.

Phase 1 engagement

In August 2018, the project team completed a site analysis and assessment of existing conditions including a tree inventory report.

The on-campus Ideas Fair, hosted in October 2018, provided students, faculty and staff an opportunity to provide feedback on the draft objectives, areas for improvements and enhancement, and the long-term vision of the Greenway. The engagement summary report can be viewed here

In November 2018, the project team hosted a Design Charrette workshop with a group of staff, student and faculty stakeholders to provide feedback and design visions for the Greenway. The summary report can be viewed here.

Phase 2 engagement

In March 2019, the draft Landscape Plan was presented to the campus community at the Campus Open House. Feedback was provided on the draft plans of the west, central, and east areas of the Greenway. 

Rendering of the new Campus Greenway looking south towards Petch Fountain.

Project team 

The Landscape Architect team leading the Campus Greenway Landscape Plan is PWL Partnership Landscape Architects.

PWL is a leading Vancouver-based landscape architectural firm with forty years experience in public and private sector planning and design. They have contracted Dunster & Associates Environmental Consultants to conduct the tree analysis and provide recommendations for long-term tree vitality.

For further information contact Mike Wilson, Director – Campus Planning and Sustainability at 250-472-5433 or planning@uvic.ca