Published monthly by the University Neighbourhoods Association Published monthly by the University Neighbourhoods Association
Volume 3, Issue 8
AUGUST 20, 2012
UNA Parks Provide Perfect Setting for Music
UNA Awaits Bylaw Adoption By UBC Board Barring delay, UBC board is expected to approve enforcement bylaw Sept. 20th; if adopted, this bylaw will be first in 10 years of UNA operations
Quintessential Jazz group provides residents with sounds of cool music during UNA Evening in the Park summer series. Please turn to Page 9 for full story. Photo credit: Yao Lu
Jakob Says ‘Thank You’ To UNA Board For Help in School Art Project
Young, local resident Jakob Antweiler attended the August 14th meeting of the University Neighbouhoods Association at The Old Barn Community Centre to present the UNA board with a ‘thank you’ plaque and letter on behalf of Acadia Elementary School thanking the board for its financial support of a legacy public art piece Jakob and his fellow-students are making for their new school.
Block F ‘Freight Train’ Tears towards UEL It cannot be stopped; however, residents should “not be asleep at the switch” when it arrives Using graphic language from the world of railroads, leaders of the University Endowment Lands community sought to articulate their concerns about the coming development of a large tract of UEL forest by Musqueam First Nation at a meeting on July 16th. While acknowledging the Musqueam development cannot be stopped, Michael Karton said, “I am concerned a runaway train is coming down the line at us.” Also while acknowledging the development cannot be stopped, Ellen Williams said, “There is a need for a forum for people to discuss this development—to get ready when it happens, so that we are not seen asleep at the switch.” Both Mr. Karton and Ms. Williams sit on the UEL Community Advisory Council (CAC), and along with other CAC members, including chair Ron Pears, they debated vigorously the prospect of large-scale residential—and likely some commercial—development com-
ing to 11 acres of forested and swampy UEL land between University Boulevard to the north, University Hill secondary school to the south, St. Anselm’s Anglican Church to the east and Acadia Road to the west. The Musqueam band has owned the land since 2008 subject to a controversial agreement between the band and the provincial government, then led by Premier Gordon Campbell. “The 2008 Reconciliation Agreement between the Musqueam First Nation and the Province of British Colombia took the important step of transferring the Block F lands on University Boulevard to the Musqueam for their economic benefit,” UEL manager Marie Engelbert said in an e-mail. CAC directors at their meeting in July referred repeatedly to an earlier meeting in which they had met with members of the Musqueam band. Ms. Williams said she got the impression at this earlier meeting the Musqueam planned a Block F community of 5,000 residents, but in a telephone conversation after the CAC meeting, Mr. Pears said the more likely Block F population would be 3,000. Block F continued on Page 4
The day of fruition draws near for the University Neighbourhoods Association and its team of bylaw-builders, many of them volunteers. Barring last-minute delay, the UBC board of governors will discuss a proposed UNA Enforcement and Dispute Bylaw at its September 20th meeting. Should the UBC board adopt this bylaw, the UNA will have its first bylaw after ten years of operation. Campus residents—numbering over 7,500 at last count—may expect more bylaws to follow as the UNA takes a straight-line path towards enhanced municipal-like governance. The same by-law development committee—directors past and present, staff, and volunteers—who readied the Enforcement and Dispute Bylaw for presentation to UBC have also readied a Noise Bylaw. However, the team presented the enforcement bylaw for UBC adoption first for without it, other bylaws could not be enforced though they be approved. The matter of bylaws—or lack of bylaws—came before the UNA board for the first time in March, 2009 when a director reported that both a noise bylaw and parking bylaw were being considered. They would be presented to the board in the near future, the director said. Upon approval by the UNA board, the bylaws (rules) would be sent to the UBC legal counsel and to the UBC board of governors for final approval. UNA credibility has suffered in the absence of a set of bylaws. The City of Vancouver, for example, has a set of more than 150 bylaws—including its enforcement bylaw. Subject to UBC adoption of the UNA enforcement bylaw in September then, campus residents may rightly look forward to their community becoming a more ‘by-lawful’ place to live. Ahead of the upcoming vote by UBC governors on the enforcement bylaw, UNA directors maintained an upbeat stance even as they acknowledged a lastminute change to its wording.
Bylaw continued on Page 4
THE CAMPUS RESIDENT AUGUST 20, 2012
New Skatepark Set to Debut on Campus By Scott Steedman, UBC UBC and the UNA have now greenlighted Canada’s first campus skatepark, a place for teens — and the community — to ride and hang out. “Not all teens are into team sports,” says Eric Coulombe. He is standing on a patch of soggy grass off Thunderbird Boulevard, next to a parkade, a basketball court and a massive electricity generating station. He’s in the heart of UBC’s Vancouver campus, on the site for a new skatepark, and he can almost hear the whirr of little wheels. “Skateboarding is more individualistic, artistic, creative. It’s still physical but it fits into the culture differently. It’s what a lot of teens need — I certainly did. I love the expressiveness of it.” Coulombe doesn’t look like the stereotypical skateboarder. OK, he is wearing jeans and has a beard, but it’s neatly trimmed and he’s well dressed. He could be a real estate agent or someone’s dad —in fact, he’s both. And 42. He just happens to be a UTown@UBC resident and a lifelong skater, and a keen advocate for UBC’s new skatepark. “The downside of skateboarding is that it’s noisy, which attracts attention, not all of it good,” he says. “It can be wowed upon or frowned upon. If it’s not accepted into the community, it can end up being stigmatized. Kids are gonna do it, so we should give them a space where they can do it safely.” When Coulombe was a teenager, there was nowhere to skate; he remembers running away from security guards in downtown parkades. Those days are long gone, but the sport still has a way to go before it completely shakes its rebel image. “The park is a public space where people can gather and skate,” says Adam
Concept Model Drawing (May 2012) - UBC Multi-Use Skatepark. Photo credit New Line Skateparks, and van der Zalm and Associates Cooper, Transportation Planner at UBC’s Transportation Planning Office. “It’s not a graffiti-covered concrete jungle that’s going to attract unwanted visitors. It will be a fun, safe, recreational space for skateboards, BMX bikes and in-line skaters. A place close to the campus neighbourhoods for local youth to enjoy themselves, along with our students and the general public.” UBC and the University Neighbourhoods Association (UNA) formed a partnership to fund and develop the proposed
park, and are working with New Line Skateparks and landscape architects van der Zalm and Associates. The project has been presented to stakeholders at two open houses, in January and March. A total of 263 people gave their feedback at the first stage, and three possible designs were shown at the second one, and the proposed location announced. The third and final step will be a final design presentation, now that the University and the UNA have agreed to pursue construction of the park. “Our community welcomes this unique facility,” says Prod Laquian, UNA Chair. “It is designed for both beginners and more expert skateboarders. We in the UNA are grateful to UBC for making the land and part of the funding available to
have it built.” The project will be Canada’s first campus skatepark. Coulombe thinks UBC is the perfect place for it. “There are so many young people out here, many of them students, and a lot of them are really stressed out. And still figuring out who they are.” “Skateboarding is an artistic, expressive sport, and a great way to relieve stress. I still use it for that! And it’s lot cheaper than getting all that hockey gear.” To see the latest information on the skatepark, visit the UBC Multi-Use Skatepark website. Reprinted with permission from UBC campus and community planning, July newsletter
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THE CAMPUS RESIDENT AUGUST 20, 2012
page 3 Published by: University Neighbourhoods Association #202-5923 Berton Avenue, Vancouver, BC V6S OB3
Editorial Page Era of Bylaws Emerges Post Haste No one enjoys receiving an infraction notice left on their improperly-parked car, but most of us agree this practice only adds to the proper running of our community. For this good reason, UNA residents at the University of British Columbia will enjoy learning that a significant event regarding infraction notices is about to occur in the history of their community. On September 20th, the UBC board of governors—meeting in the Okanagan— will vote on a resolution to adopt the first two bylaws (namely the Enforcement and Dispute Bylaw and the Noise Control Bylaw) in the ten-year history of the UNA. In the moment they vote in favour of these bylaws (assuming in fact they do vote in favour), Hampton Place, Hawthorn Place, Chancellor Place, Wesbrook Place and East Campus will become literally ‘bylaw-ful’ places in which to live. The UNA chose the Enforcement and Dispute Bylaw as one of the first bylaws to go before the UBC board of governors since—upon approval—it will allow fur-
ther bylaws to be enforced when the UBC board in turn adopts them. Also, directors of the UNA have long identified parking control (contained in the enforcement bylaw) and as one of the two bylaw issues needed to be addressed first. The UNA Noise Control Bylaw—when adopted—will allow bylaw enforcement officers in the UNA areas to serve infraction notices on construction companies who hammer away on Sundays and public holidays in or near residential neighbourhoods in exactly the same way such officers do in, say, Richmond. Too much regulation ill-serves a community in the same way too little regulation does. However, the lack of bylaws in toto has made the residential neighbourhoods on campus too much of a governance oddity for too long. For the better, then, the winds of change have finally borne down on campus, and this gives cause for celebration and commendation. In particular, we commend all who have worked on turning UNA residential neighbourhoods at UBC into bylaw-ful
places in which to live. The first stirrings of this development came in 2009. Since then UNA directors, members of staff and volunteers have worked hard to sculpt the first two bylaws they hope to see promptly adopted by the UBC board. Lawyers for both the University and the UNA have converted lay ideas into legal language, and consultation with the UNA public has further helped to refine the bylaws as they emerged. A classic case of public participation took place literally in the last days before the Enforcement and Dispute Bylaw was submitted to UBC for consideration. A Hampton Place resident pointed out a flaw in the language of the bylaw, and when—upon reflection—the UNA directors agreed change was needed, a resolution of the board resulted in the change being made. Reaching out to all members of the public who had participated in drafting the first two bylaws, Nancy Knight, a UBC appointee to the UNA board, said, “Input from the public is much appreciated.”
Editor & Business Manager John Tompkins 604.827.3502 JTompkins@myuna.ca
UNA Election Update Directors Decide not to Run Again UNA director Mankee Mah has joined fellow director Prod Laquian in deciding not to seek re-election at the September 26th annual general meeting. Ms Mah, of Hawthorn Place, became a member of the seven-member UNA board two years ago. In an e-mail, Ms Mah said, “My decision (not to run) has to do with my family priorities in the next year.” Mr. Laquian, of Hampton Place, joined the board four years ago. (Please see story on Page 10.) Three residents have publicly declared they are running for seats on the UNA board: Charles Menzies, of Hawthorn Place; Richard Alexander, of Wesbrook Place, and Shaohong Wu, of Wesbrook Place. More candidates may announce by August 27, deadline for nominations. Assuming approval of the membership, the board will become an eight-member board at the meeting.
Letter to the Editor Summary of Governance Options Challenged I take exception to points made by Jim Taylor in July. You do not need to be a Canadian citizen to vote in UNA elections. This is outrageous! In municipalities across Canada, being only a property owner is not sufficient to get you a vote. Elections have been overthrown on the Gulf Islands when American (non-Canadian) property owners tried to vote in the municipal elections. Here at UBC, it seems, we go this route with people voting who are foreigners with only their UNA membership needed to make them eligible to vote. In other words, people can walk into the UNA office and claim residency with a piece of mail to a local address—and then vote in the upcoming UNA election. Moreover, if there is ever a referendum on governance options, non-Canadian UNA residents will be able to vote on which option we will be governed under. This smells of huge trouble which will ultimately be challenged in the highest courts in the land. The UNA seeks to be in charge of land use planning but it has no authority to do so. Thank goodness it does not, precisely because it allows people to vote who are not Canadian citizens. Why should a non-citizen be allowed to make impor-
tant decisions, ones that affect our everyday lives? These decisions have the potential to become laws, or bylaws. They all have legal implications, yet they are made by people who have little or no legal standing in the country. Taylor says “the policing would change” and the RCMP would leave. The RCMP do not intervene in and are extremely limited in terms of being able to intervene in most issues of immediate relevance to our neighbourhoods, such as the enforcement of our (non-existent) bylaws -- currently they cannot enforce anything and even if we had a few bylaws with clout, the RCMP are not typically involved in such levels of enforcement -- while, in the City of Vancouver, the Vancouver City Police can and do come to intercept when there is an issue such as tremendous noise after midnight, or people using noisy, prohibited grass or hedge cutting equipment. The Vancouver City Police frequent the Point Grey Village just off campus and always have -- I have seen them do so regularly for more than 40 years.
of Vancouver, we use the Vancouver parks, libraries, cinemas, beaches, etc. etc. When we travel we tell people we are “from Vancouver” we don’t say we are “from UBC” and we should have a say, a vote in what happens in Vancouver, our home! As it stands, we are precluded from voting in our own city! Taylor also indirectly lets us know that he prefers to give the UNA even more unfettered powers by “creating a special municipality.” This option is just another version of his preference to keep the UNA. Clearly, he wants to keep the UNA and then later, the “special powers” version will start reappearing. Discussing a “special powers” option is not really worthy of the space it takes. It is, plain and simple, a dangerous option to dish out special powers to any level of municipal government. We are not, at UBC, a distinct society, and we are not a special and unique place. We do not need unique governance -- we need fair and equitable government, the same kind of governance every other Canadian enjoys in their municipality.
We are part of Vancouver!
In every reasonable respect, we are part of the city of Vancouver -- most of us shop in Vancouver; geographically, we consider UBC and the UNA to be part
I, for one, strongly disagree with Taylor’s suggestion that our property tax burden would not change. It would change for the better, if we joined the City of Van-
couver, and our money would be much better managed, and we would, I believe, pay a lot less! The University finally refunded a portion of the fees they overcharged for many years, while ignoring the input of property owners who pointed out their double billing practices. Were the funds overpaid returned to the individuals who paid them? No, they refunded our strata councils instead and the individuals who overpaid the fees were at the mercy of the decision making of their strata councils. So, in some to many instances, people who were individually billed and who were individually forced to overpay, sometimes for many years were not refunded, their stratas were instead refunded. Strata councils then did as they wished with the funds. Mariette West, Chancellor Place
Letters to the Editor & Opinions Include name, address and telephone number. Maximum lengths: Letters 400 words. Opinions 750 words. We may edit or decline to publish any submission.
page 4 Block F continued from Page 1 Ms. Williams also said she got the impression the Musqueam were planning a 120-room high-rise hotel on the property. She called for significant public consultation about height and density on Block F. “We have got to get something—information—about into the public domain on this development,” she said. A Musqueam source said the band plans to hold public open houses to seek the community views on the site with the first open house likely in September. In future meetings with the Musqueam, CAC members—on behalf of about 5,000 UEL residents—indicate they will seek more information about what zoning changes the Musqueam propose. Ms. Engelbert said the reconciliation agreement, and the legislation that brought it into effect, provide “medium density residential zoning for the Block
Bylaw continued from Page 1 Hampton Place resident Bill Holmes had objected to a clause in the draft bylaw which would have allowed the adjudicator in any dispute arising from someone receiving an infraction notice to be an employee of the UNA. A lawyer, Mr. Holmes had submitted that the adjudicator should be independent of either UBC (or the UNA), and after discussion, the UNA board—counseled by its lawyer—agreed. At an August 14th board meeting, UNA directors—and UNA counsel—thanked Mr. Holmes for his contribution in enhancing the bylaw. Following this, directors expressed hope the UBC board would vote in favour of the bylaw shortly. Nancy Knight, a UBC appointee to the UNA board, said,
THE CAMPUS RESIDENT AUGUST 20, 2012 F Lands, more specifically, the MF-1 (multi-family) zoning set out in the UEL bylaw, recognizing the economic development objectives of the Musqueam First Nation.” She said the legislation “also provided for the possibility that circumstances might change allowing for the process of seeking a possible variation of this zoning, as other landowners can.” This means the Musqueam might look for housing density higher than is conveyed in the reconciliation agreement—certainly they won’t look for anything lower. As a first step in responding to the prospect of the Block F ‘freight train’ tearing down the tracks toward the UEL community, the CAC agreed to form a Block F committee (or ‘working group’) at its September meeting. They also agreed on the need to call on consultants to assess Musqueam plans on their behalf once these plans are announced. “The consul“A lot of thoughtful work has gone into this (bylaw development).” As well as compliment fellow-directors on their work, Ms. Knight spoke kindly about members of the public (volunteers) who had participated in this marathonlike process of bylaw development. “Input from the public is much appreciated,” she said, while characterizing finalization of bylaw preparation as “a huge accomplishment.” A tight deadline followed approval of the last-minute amendment to the enforcement by-law regarding an independent adjudicator at the August 14th UNA board meeting: first, UNA staff needed to submit the bylaw document to the office of the associate vice-president, UBC campus and community planning (Ms Knight); then the planning department needed to submit it to the board of governors office in time for it to be placed on the September 20th agenda.
tants can become our heavy guns,” a director offered. At the July CAC meeting, Ms. Engelbert, an employee of the ministry of community, sport and cultural development, asked CAC members to be fair in the way they approached this unprecedented UEL development in their area. “Don’t undermine the development process. It’s unfair to say the Musqueam haven’t been informative,” she said. She also proposed the CAC “take what the Musqueam say at face value and work with them. “The Musqueam say they look for 100year leases. They want it to be a respected development. They want to create good values,” she said. In written response to a series of questions posed by the Campus Resident, Engelbert said, “The land (Block F) is currently zoned to allow for multi-family housing up to a height of 4 storeys or 45
feet. “The developer has made no formal plans or proposals at this stage. Any proposal for development outside the existing multi-family zoning on the land will need to follow due process, which will incorporate a significant component of community consultation, at various stages in the process. “As land owners, the Musqueam have a right to bring forward proposals for development of the land and for them to receive fair consideration; at the same time, the community has a right to have its voice heard. “When the developer is in a position to move forward with some initial public consultation, the UEL Administration will work with them to ensure that full information about the process to be followed is available to the public.”
UNA Community Enjoys Advantages, Says Report Assessment of program needs at The Old Barn Community Centre was conducted March and April; UNA directors are apprised of report An assessment of program needs at The Old Barn Community Centre has concluded the UNA community has “numerous advantages in becoming a caring and strong community compared to other communities in the Vancouver area.” The assessment report lists the advantages as follows: people live closer; messages travel quickly through word of mouth; the community is rich with talented residents; it is surrounded by a beautiful natural environment; it has great facilities and resources next door; and there is a shared sense of pride of living here. “All of these are great assets in building a community that favours knowledgesharing, cultural connections, and healthy and sustainable living,” The Old Barn Program Needs Assessment report states. “A long term vision shared by UNA residents, consistent and two-way communication, and dedicated efforts to support residents’ needs and initiatives are the building blocks to make this happen.” Volunteer and community engagement coordinator Qiuning Wang compiled this report and presented it to directors of the UNA at their meeting August 14th. Managed and operated by the UNA, The Old Barn Community Centre, which was opened in 2007, currently serves over 8,000 UNA residents. It is the only community centre on campus. A program needs assessment (PNA) was conducted among UNA residents between March 1 and April 30 by Old Barn staff with a view to further developing The Old Barn services as well as to help guide the program planning for the new Wesbrook Community Centre, scheduled to open in the winter of 2013. A mixed method was used in the PNA process including an online survey and focus group discussions for newcomers, youth, parents, adults and retired residents respectively. Following are the conclusions made in relation to program planning, communications and community building: (1) The natural beauty, rich academic re-
sources, first-class facilities and talented residents are highly valued community assets among the PNA participants. Providing more support and opportunities for our residents to access these facilities and resources is recommended. (2) In promoting healthy living through various leisure and recreational programs, it is important for The Old Barn to continue to provide programs that support the new residents in their settlement, their language learning and their social integration. (3) The overall feedback that was received on program quality, pricing, registration and communications was quite positive. However, there were inquiries from our residents for a wider selection of programs, programs dedicated for teenagers and seniors, improved class scheduling, higher quality instructors and a lower family price for programs. (4) Affordability was not prominent during the Focus Group Discussions. However, in the online survey, 11% of the respondents reported “cost” as a regular barrier to participate. A review of ability to provide access to current programs (discounted rates for those in need) is recommended. (5) There is a demand for online program registration. An investigation into the cost of an online registration system by the UNA is recommended. (6) In addition to programmed classes and activities, PNA participants are also looking for free or reduced rates for meeting rooms for socializing and networking. A review of the use of the common areas in The Old Barn is recommended due to the online survey feedback. (7) The current communication tools of The Old Barn and the UNA were considered adequate for program information delivery, while a common ground for UNA residents to communicate among themselves was found lacking by the focus group members. Establishment of a UNA residents’ online forum is recommended. (8) There is a combination of long term residents and newcomers in each UNA neighbourhood. To build a unified community, dedicated programs are needed to bring long term residents and newcomers together in a way that respects traditions, embraces cultural differences, improves mutual learning and facilitates integration.
THE CAMPUS RESIDENT AUGUST 20, 2012
Long-Term Future to Fetch Considerable Change to Acadia Road Roadway is relatively quiet today; in the future, however, developments are planned either side of it. The future belongs to Acadia Road. In the years ahead, new communities will rise on either side of this relatively quiet roadway that has long served to separate UBC from the University Endowment Lands to the east. To the east of Acadia Road, a future community of 3,000-5,000 residents living wholly in market-housing buildings will emerge as Musqueam First Nation develop what is today a patch of forest in the University Endowment Lands (please
see Front Page story). To the west of Acadia Road, a future community made up of both married UBC students and market housing residents—numbering jointly several thousands—will emerge as UBC develops what is today a precinct for married students, faculty and staff only. In other words, to the east and west of Acadia Road, a pair of future communities with a combined population of 8,000-10,000 residents or so will emerge as the UEL undergoes development on one side of the road and UBC undergoes redevelopment on the other. Although this prospect lies in the future (far in the future to some extent), initial signs of it have become evident in recent days.
Blocks of apartments for UBC married students are being decommissioned in Acadia Park because they have reached the end of their life cycle. Redevelopment is planned in Acadia Park--but not in the immediate future.
Sources indicate that land surveyors on behalf of the Musqueam band have already made preliminary visits to the UEL forest between University Boulevard to the north, St. Anselm’s Anglican Church to the east, University Hill secondary school to the south and Acadia Road to the east. Meanwhile, on UBC land in Acadia Park, demolition began August 1 on three blocks of apartments that have housed 158 married students and their families since the late 1980s. Andrew Parr, managing director of Student Housing and Hospitality Services said these Acadia Park apartments have reached the end of their life cycle. “The scope and scale of work required to bring these apartments to the standard necessary to extend their life is not a prudent use of resources,” Mr. Parr said. “Residents (students) who are eligible for another housing contract are being offered student family housing elsewhere in Acadia.” Unusual for UBC, when these old buildings come down, new ones will not promptly replace them. Mr. Parr says, “Existing trees will be left in place and temporary uses will be determined for the area until the lands are needed for neighbourhood redevelopment consistent with the UBC Land Use Plan and Vancouver Campus Plan, likely in 10-15 years.”
Details are still to be worked out, but temporary use options include some enhanced community garden space, enhanced pick-up and drop-off for the many child-care facilities nearby, play fields, green space, storm-water retention and so on. Redevelopment of the land on which these three blocks of apartments (Keremeos Court, Oyama Court and Salmo Court) stand will benefit UBC enormously. UBC had not adopted the concept of maximizing land values when these apartment buildings were developed with the result that they are endowed with a housing density which, by standards today, is incredibility low. When redevelopment comes, UBC will surely not allow this low level of density again. In any event, says Mr. Parr, the decision to demolish the three blocks of Acadia Park residences was unrelated to the transfer of housing density from the UBC Farm currently underway in various parts of campus, and “no neighbourhood housing development is planned in the near future.” No neighbourhood housing development is planned in the near future for other parts of Acadia Park either. In the long term, however, development will come - and with it will come greater importance of Acadia Road.
Playground in Acadia Park is left unused after group of UBC married students was relocated to elsewhere on campus to allow for demolition of aging apartments.
THE CAMPUS RESIDENT AUGUST 20, 2012
Yes, In My B
How do you convince UBC residents to accept a pioneering n and clean it is, that’s how — then get them excited abou By Scott Steedman, UBC When Erica Frank heard that UBC wanted to build a biomass-fueled power plant near her campus home, she was concerned. Frank is an elected representative to University Neighbourhoods Association (UNA) Board; she’s also a physician and professor of public health. At the first open house about the proposed plant — the Bioenergy Research and Development Facility (BRDF) — in the winter of 2009, Frank asked some tough questions about air quality and pollutants. “I wasn’t easily satisfied,” she recalls. “For example, I made it clear that I thought their initial answers to my questions on dioxins were inadequate. But UBC followed up promptly and with deeply reassuring answers, including a willingness to co-develop the air-quality monitoring system with the UNA and UBC’s School of Population and Public Health.” Frank was convinced, and is now a leading advocate for the project. “I believe the ancient Greeks would be proud of this expression of our representative democracy,” she says with a smile.
Addressing Concerns Head-On The BRDF has certainly got room for controversy. A partnership between UBC, Nexterra Systems and General Electric (GE), it’s a $27-million project that uses new technology to create heat and electricity from clean, woody biomass such as wood chips and the “leftovers” from wood manufacturing plants. When it opens in June, it will be the first power plant of its kind in the world. And it’s been built on a site in the heart of the
campus, between a major access road and the Marine Drive student residences. Such groundbreaking projects will never get off the drawing board unless the University tackles the community’s concerns head-on, says Brent Sauder, Director, Research and Partnerships, Office of the Vice President Research & International. “Public engagement was key, especially as this is a Living Lab project, with members of the community and researchers involved. It’s new, it’s different. People are always wary of change, especially when it’s happening in their back yard!” “People are right to have concerns about a project like this,” says Nancy Knight, Associate Vice President Campus & Community Planning. “They’re worried about air emissions, environmental health, truck traffic and noise, from both the facility and from fuel delivery. So we did a lot of community outreach very early, we had open houses, and engaged with the issues of air quality and public health.” Erica Frank was key to this process, as were two other UBC professors: Steve Cockcroft, a materials engineer, and Gunilla Oberg, a professor at the Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability with an interest in environmental and sustainability issues. Sauder and Cockcroft worked on an ongoing basis with Frank and other committed residents addressing specific questions. “The key thing is establishing a very personal connection, face to face, person to person with key individuals,” Sauder says. “We identified their concerns, and went away and came back with answers or proposed processes addressing their concerns. We talked about the opportunities, the meanings for society as a whole, and people turned around, went ‘this is really cool stuff’.”
Inside of biomass plant. Photo Credit: McFarland Marceau Architects Ltd.
Aerial view of biomass-fueled power plant on UBC campus. Photo Credit: Jeff Giffen
Every public meeting brought out more concerns, areas where people wanted more information or had misunderstood the facility. It is not an incinerator, for instance — it will not be used to burn waste. “There is no open flame, it’s a
very controlled gasification process,” says Sauder. “That was a big ‘educational’ issue we had to address.” People think of power plants as huge industrial plants, but the BRDF is actually quite small. Critics were also sur-
THE CAMPUS RESIDENT AUGUST 20, 2012
new power plant on campus? Reassure them about how safe ut the innovations and research opportunities involved. around these issues and the commitments that flowed from them, I don’t think we’d have been able to site this project on campus.”
Addressing Climate Change
prised to discover that it’s an attractive structure. It’s built from cross-laminated timber (another innovative technology), so aesthetically, it’s actually an improvement on what used to occupy the site.
Setting Higher Standards It became clear that complying with the current air quality legislation was not good enough — if the facility was to be world class, its performance had to be too. So the team incorporated additional emission-management technology into the facility; installed a continuous airshed monitoring system, perched on top of Marine Drive Residence; and created a community panel that will meet regularly and review the results. “The aim is to actually lessen the environmental impact of the energygenerating process, to do better than we are now, set new standards,” Sauder explains. “And the more we talked to people, the more they gained the confidence that we are actually trying to move the yardstick.” “We did things you probably wouldn’t do normally, and followed through with real requirements to address concerns, because we really wanted the project to go ahead,” says Knight. “We made a lot of commitments about the kind of fuels we would allow, for example. Without community engagement and dialogue
“If we’re really going to make a difference with greenhouse gases [GHGs] at UBC we have to address how we heat our buildings,” says David Woodson, Managing Director of Building Operations and a key player in the BRDF. “The truth is that most of UBC’s GHG emissions come from burning natural gas. The aim of the Living Lab is to align UBC’s operational needs — such as heat for buildings — with its research activities, using green technologies. The BRDF is the first combined operationsresearch facility on campus. It will reduce UBC’s GHG emissions by 9 percent, an important first step in reducing emissions by a third by 2015.” “People are comfortable about turning on the stove and getting natural gas,” adds Sauder. “They don’t think upstream. With the BRDF, it’s mainly concentrated in one area —there’s no “outof-sight” sulphur piles, no wellheads or pipelines. We’re doing it all right here. And our goal is to meet or exceed the emissions of natural gas.” Both Woodson and Sauder say that UBC is the perfect place to be pioneering this sort of technology. The BRDF is an expensive project using technology unproven at this scale. By mitigating these “risks” through securing grant funding and viewing performance issues as research opportunities, the University can be a global leader in showcasing a game-changing technology. Replicating the technology in Canada alone has the promise to offset about 435 kilotonnes of GHG emissions annually. But the first step would only happen if the 18,000 residents of UTown@UBC were happy to have a power plant close to home. Knight gives regular talks on the successful community engagement process and the interest is huge. “I get tons of inquiries from the biomass industry, people who are interested in developing clean energy, the Canadian District Energy Association, other municipalities — they are all very interested in how you get a community to see the benefits and agree on how to manage the impacts of a groundbreaking facility like this one.” “It’s about climate change and how are we going to address it, and people really responded to that. One of the most important things we learned was the importance of a social license to operate — you need to have community support for these sorts of innovative technologies.” I call it YIMBY,” says Sauder; “Yes, in my backyard!” Reprinted with permission from UBC campus and community planning, July newsletter
View of plant from Lower Mall. Photo Credit: Brent Sauder
THE CAMPUS RESIDENT AUGUST 20, 2012
UNA Community News Sustainability Corner The August edition of Sustainability Corner Column is written by guest columnist Sunny Brar. Sunny has been working as a Clean Energy Summer Intern for the UNA. This May, some of my classmates and I completed energy audits on five residential buildings in the UNA and the Old Barn Community Centre. We conducted these energy audits as part of an energy efficiency and conservation course in the Clean Energy Engineering Master’s program at UBC. Our objective was to identify energy saving measures in buildings that could be implemented to conserve energy, decrease greenhouse gas emissions, and ultimately lower utility costs. Based on a small study of energy audits conducted our results suggest we are more energy efficient then our municipal neighbours. On average we found that the UNA buildings used 19% less energy than other apartment renters and owners in the Lower Mainland. (Lower Mainland estimates are from an RDH Building
Science Consultants study). In part, this is likely due to the energy-efficient fixtures and fittings of the building mix we have in the UNA. Thus, we benefit from the relatively new nature of some of our neighbourhoods and the REAP (Residential Environmental Assessment Program) building standards applied by UBC. It shows the potential for future work to be conducted in understanding how accurate the figure of 19% is, and in helping us to set a baseline for possible further reductions. Though this is positive news, our municipal neighbours haven’t set a hard target to beat – there is significant potential for all of us to still use energy sustainably within our homes and buildings. The energy audit identified four key areas within the home that are commonly suspected to be energy hogs: lighting, heating, electronics and appliances. By making small changes in these areas we’re able to reduce energy use and save money on utility bills. For example, selecting energy efficient light bulbs, and connecting your electronics to a power bar so you are able to switch them all off at night are quick energy and money saving steps. They require small initial cost when compared to the cumulative benefit gained if we all de-
cided to implement such changes. Currently I am working on a home energy checklist that will soon be available on the UNA website to provide information to you on a number of ways you can use energy sustainably. As many people live in apartment complexes in the community, strata councils are key organizations in helping to implement change on a building wide level. In terms of impact, an adjustment in hot water temperature set points for central hot water heaters could appreciably lower building gas use. These among other cost effective ways to help buildings become more energy efficient are being detailed in a UNA booklet that will be available to strata councils. The booklet will highlight ways to manage energy use efficiently in buildings, and available options to apply for incentives. It will include a step by step approach in how to become informed of available offers and rebates from BC Hydro or Fortis BC. If your building is planning on replacing an old boiler or considering a lighting change, this may be a great time to make use of the incentives available to help lower the initial cost. Be it the actions of a strata council or through some other community or-
ganization, the collective work within a group we as individuals do can yield substantial cost savings as a result of our conservation actions. In the long term, the choices we make can further set us apart in becoming a model of an energy efficient community we can be proud to live in.
UNA Clean Energy Engineer Intern, Sunny Brar
Connecting Youth through Sports By May Xing, Youth co-ordinator of the Youth Fitness Club Summer is all about sunshine, socializing, and getting fit. The Youth Fitness Club, after a modest beginning in the summer of 2011, burgeoned this year into a group of thirty energetic and enthusiastic youth participants with the support of several UBC students. Aimed at promoting a healthy lifestyle, we also wish to encourage participants to try different sports while mingling with friends and developing their own leadership abilities. Working with The Old Barn Com-
munity Centre, UTown@UBC, and the University Neighbourhoods Association, the Youth Fitness Club was formed as a youth-initiated program in 2011. By the end of that year, we had a consistent fifteen members show up each time to play ultimate frisbee, soccer, basketball, or sometimes even all of the above. Due to the positive feedback and support from parents last year, the Youth Fitness Club received a grant of $1,000 from UTown@UBC this summer. These extra funds went towards booking venues at UBC that offered a wider variety of activities for the participants. We decided on our sixteen-session schedule in a July meeting of volunteers and participants, including in our program street hockey, volleyball, and
Shooting hoops at University Hill Elementary
badminton at Osborne Centre; soccer and ultimate on Spencer Field. We all enjoyed the experience of trying new and different sports; one participant noted, “The events are very fun and organized.” Another named his favourite activity thus far – street hockey: “We had competitions and everyone was enjoying [it]. Although we were not that professional, but [everyone] was happy.” The community has reacted positively to the program. After having to close the initial registration in July because of an overwhelming response from more than forty registrants, a regular twenty-five to thirty youth have been in attendance throughout the first six weeks of the program. A lively and diverse group, the youth come from different cultures, in-
Having a pre-game chat with the group
cluding Korean, Japanese, Chinese, Indian, and Iranian backgrounds. In addition to youth leaders, student volunteers from the University of British Columbia help oversee the events and have made the program a success by bringing advice from their different backgrounds and experiences when guiding the participants. The volunteers come from a wide range of disciplines, including Forest Resources Management, Kinesiology, and Finance. We hope that the volunteers will continue to mentor the youth in our community and give guidance for those going into a related field of study, just as they are helping us now to run the program. “The volunteers were able to make sure that everyone got to participate,” one member says. Although the youth participants themselves are encouraged to take turns leading events, the student volunteers help set-up and facilitate, much to the appreciation of the youth. One participant said of the volunteers, “They are helpful in every event.” Another said they “coordinate events very effectively.” The Youth Fitness Club has delivered to its members an engaging yet active lifestyle. As one teen summed it up, “I would love to participate in the program again next year. It provided a fun, social way to exercise over the summer.” With such great leadership and co-operation among the youth, the volunteers, and the staff resulting in such a diverse group united in fun and sports, we look forward to another exciting season next year.
THE CAMPUS RESIDENT AUGUST 20, 2012
Music is in the air in the UNA Neighbourhoods By Laura Tennant, The Old Barn Summer Events Coordinator Every summer, the UNA holds a series of Friday concerts in its parks; final concert to be held on August 24 in Jim Taylor Park
There has been music in the air this summer in the UNA Neighbourhoods. Since July, the UNA has been hosting musical acts in its parks as a part of the Evening in the Park series in which residents are invited to come to enjoy some live music with family, friends and neighbours. This year’s series kicked off on July 13 at Jim Taylor Park with music by the Flanagans. A two piece band from the Lower Mainland, the Flanagans put out some festive Canadiana music (complete with the Log Driver’s Waltz) for everyone to
hum along to, as well as some classic Irish folk tunes. Quintessential Jazz followed on July 27 as the second act of the Evening in the Park series. Held at Iona Green Park, the band produced some smooth percussion and horns making for a tight performance. Chancellor Place residents enjoyed good luck this summer as the third musical event was also in their neighbourhood—due to construction underway at Michael Smith Park in Wesbrook Place. Iona Green Park was alive with the sounds of Bluegrass on August 10, as Late Thaw’s double bass thumped out some upbeat melodies. Singing about everything from love to home repairs, the group put on an entertaining show for those in attendance. The series will come to a close this Friday, August 24, with The Road Crew. Known for their classic rock and country flavour, the band is scheduled to play at Jim Taylor Park in Hawthorn Place (out-
side The Old Barn Community Centre) at 5 PM for what promises to be a rocking finish to a great summer series. If you have missed the last three shows, this is your chance to soak in the last of the summer sun and kick back with your neighbours for some great music.
Jim Taylor Park held the first concert of the year, featuring The Flanagans
Late Thaw performed bluegrass music in Iona Green Park on August 10. Photo credit Yao Lu
University Neighbourhoods Association
ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING A meeting for members of the UNA and residents of the “Local Areas” as defined in the Comprehensive Community Plan including Hampton Place, Hawthorn Place, Chancellor Place, East Campus, and Wesbrook Place
Wednesday September 26, 7 p.m. – 9 p.m.
at The Old Barn Community Centre (6308 Thunderbird Blvd., UBC)
CALL FOR NOMINATIONS In accordance with the UNA Constitution, there will be an Election for 3 UNA Resident Directors to take place at the UNA Annual General Meeting.
To be eligible for nomination a person must be a resident of the “local area” (those five areas currently identified for non-institutional development in the Comprehensive Community Plan and Hampton Place) and otherwise meet the requirements of our By-laws. The UNA Constitution and By-laws requires that no more than three (3) directors may come from a single area and at least one (1) director must be elected from the Faculty / Staff or Co-Development housing. To read the UNA Constitution and By-laws and recent amendments to the By-laws, please see the UNA website www.myuna.ca. Three (3) directors to be elected this September will initially hold office for two (2) years. Directors may be re-elected (subject to being eligible) for up to two (2) more terms. Nominees for the UNA Board of Directors may contact the UNA office by phone, fax or email to be sent nomination forms or may print a copy from the UNA website www.myuna.ca. To be eligible, nominations require the support of 5 members of the UNA. Nominees are requested to submit a 1 page biographical sketch and photo with the completed nomination form to the UNA office. Biographical information will be posted on the UNA website and / or the UNA publication The Campus Resident.
Deadline for Nominations:
The deadline for nominations under the UNA Constitution is 4:30 pm on Monday, August 27, 2012. Completed nomination forms should be mailed or delivered to the UNA office, #202-5923 Berton Avenue, Vancouver BC, V6S 0B3. The names of persons nominated for election as Resident Directors shall be published in a ballot and delivered to the membership with the notice of meeting and related material by September 5, 2012. Should you have any further questions, please contact Cathie Cleveland UNA Administrative Manager 604.827.5540 or email Cathie@myuna.ca
Families from various UNA Neighbourhoods came out to enjoy the music
THE CAMPUS RESIDENT AUGUST 20, 2012
Two Global Projects Prevent Director from Further Service on UNA board Prod Laquian has been director for four years; retired UBC professor is scheduled for extensive travel in years of work ahead Hampton Place resident Prod Laquian expects to do a lot of traveling during the coming years while working on two global projects, and as a result, he has elected not to run for re-election to the board of the University Neighbourhoods Association when his term ends in September. Mr. Laquian, 77, a UBC professor emeritus of regional and community planning, has enjoyed serving on the UNA board for the last four years—the last year as chair. “My not running has nothing to do with my home life,” says Mr. Laquian with a laugh, referring to the fact that his wife, Eleanor, is co-organizer of the Organization for UTown Residents (OUR), a group running a slate of three candidates in next month’s UNA election. In an e-mail, Mr. Laquian recounted each of the global projects on which he will work. First, he has been appointed coordinator for the Asia-Pacific region in a United Nations related project called the Third Global Report on Local Democracy and Decentralization (GOLD III) a worldwide study on how local governments deliver local public services like water, sanitation, transport, energy and solid waste collection and disposal to urban residents. Mr. Laquian currently heads an Asia Pacific team of 20 experts studying the
Prod Laquian in Hoian, Vietnam situation in 112 cities and towns in 16 countries in the region. The study evaluates how Asia Pacific countries will meet (or not meet) key targets of the UN’s Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015. The project is funded by United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) based in Barcelona. Aside from the Asia Pacific team, four other teams are covering Africa, Europe, Latin America and North America. Findings of the research teams will be published as a global report
in 2014. Secondly, Mr. Laquian has been named one of nine experts that make up the International Advisory Board of the World Smart Capital Cities Initiative. The Board is tasked with selecting a Smart Capital City every year based on how a city uses advances in information and communication technology (ICT) to manage the planning and governance of cities. The winning city will be awarded a prize by the Smart Capital Cities Foundation based in
Amsterdam. Despite his busy schedule, Mr. Laquian says he will continue to support UNA affairs as a volunteer in resident-led committees. “Who knows, if I am still able, I may run for a UNA board slot when my projects are done in a couple of years,” he adds. The UNA rules allow for a maximum of six successive years as a director, and Mr. Laquian would have had another two years if re-elected.
Newcomers Orientation 새 이주/이민자 오리엔테이션 캐나다에 처음이십니까? 밴쿠버에 처음이십니까? 유비씨 지역에 처음이십니까? 당신과 당신 가족들이 새로운 환경에 잘 적응할수 있게 도와줄 무료 오리엔테이션에 참여하세요. 이 오리엔테이션은 UNA와 올드반 커뮤니티 센터에서 주관하며 한국어와 중국어로 지원됩니다. Sec 1 수요일 | 6:30 PM - 7:30 PM 9월 6일 | 무료
迎新说明会 新到加拿大？新到温哥华？新到UNA社区？ 参加我们的迎新说明会，帮助您和您的家庭尽快适应新的环境。 国语说明。 Sec 2 周四 | 晚上7:30-8:30 9月6日 | 免费 - 需注册
THE CAMPUS RESIDENT AUGUST 20, 2012
Biodiversity in your backyard The How’s and Why’s of Biological Collecting (part 1) By Daniel Mosquin, Research Manager, UBC Botanical Garden Together, the Beaty Biodiversity Museum and UBC Botanical Garden constitute UBC Biodiversity Collections. An implied activity of the word collections is the act of collecting. How collections are made and why they are scientifically important (even from our own backyards) is too lengthy for a single column, so this month “how” will be addressed. For both the UBC Herbarium—part of the Museum—and UBC Botanical Garden, the process of collecting first requires identifying gaps in the collections and potential sites where specimens that fill those gaps can be found. Once sites are selected, necessary permits and other regulations are followed, logistics are planned and then collecting can begin. For the UBC Herbarium, the direct act of collecting first requires digging up entire small plants or cutting branches from woody plants. This plant material is then pressed between sheets of newspaper and cardboard to flatten and dry it, in order to preserve the specimen. Leaf material may also be separately collected and stored in dessicating silica, as samples for DNA analysis. Information about the collected plant is recorded, such as location, habitat, associated species, and properties of the specimen that may not be present when the specimen is dried (e.g., flower colour for plant groups where it quickly fades). Back in the herbarium, the specimen (once dry) is frozen for a time to prevent insect infestations. It is then identified or verified by scientists, with additional information being added to what was previously recorded. The specimen is then mounted on a herbarium sheet, complete with label containing the pertinent information (that has also been entered into a database). UBC Botanical Garden collects plants somewhat differently, as the Garden collects living material. Depending on the species and situation, seed, cuttings (living tissue), or entire plants may be collected. Similar information to what the herbarium compiles is recorded, and a specimen for the herbarium may also be collected at the same time (especially if the identification is uncertain). Collected seed and cuttings will typically be delivered to the Botanical Garden Nursery for propagation, while entire plants may be transplanted directly into the Garden. Labels for the plants are generated with a name and accession number that refers back to the collections database, as it is not possible to include all of the pertinent information on the plant tags. Next month, the scientific reasons for why collections are made will be addressed. Upcoming in the Collections: The Beaty Biodiversity Museum will welcome “Wider Symmetries, Watercolours by Lex Alfred Hedley” August 30-November 12, 2012. UBC Biodiversity Collections will also be launching school programing in September with exciting new options for classes. Ask your child’s teacher to bring their class on a trip to the UBC Botanical Garden and the Beaty Biodiversity Museum.
A specimen is examined on a recent collecting trip
The collecting table
Plant samples are pressed in-between sheets of newspaper and cardboard
Plant samples are also stored in silica
THE CAMPUS RESIDENT AUGUST 20, 2012
EVENTS IN YOUR NEIGHBOURHOOD
FREE Lecture Series The Old Barn Lectures at The Old Barn Community Centre Sept 5, 7pm- UBC Real Estate Market Date TBA - The Education Revolution Nov 2, 7:45pm - Economic Environment Update
Newcomers Lecture Series at The Old Barn Community Centre
Presented in Mandarin by S.U.C.C.E.S.S. Sept 25, 6:30pm - New Immigrants’ Beneﬁts Oct 23, 6:30pm - Canadian Style of Healthy Eating Oct 30, 6:30pm - Vancouver Public Library Resources Nov 6, 6:30pm - Winter Car Maintenance
August 20, 2012 Make sure to regsiter early to secure your place in your favourite class!
at The Old Barn Community Centre Sept 6, 6:30pm - Korean Orientation Sept 6, 7:30pm - Mandarin Orientation
September 8, 2012
Older Adults Lecture Series
1-5pm at The Old Barn Community Centre
Check our Program Guide or website for class details!
The Old Barn Community Centre
6308 Thunderbird Blvd
6308 Thunderbird Blvd @ UBC
sponsored in part by UBCPT
at Tapestry - 3338 Wesbrook Mall Sept 21, 10am - Can we teach old dogs new tricks? Oct 19, 10am - Social Wellbeing Nov 16, 11am - Arthritis 101