ubc urban studio
Sustainable Urbanism: The Hastings Street Corridor in Burnaby






Urban Studio Title Page and Overview

This studio aimed to engage the varied issues associated with sustainable design as they combine in the condition of our region's many urban corridors.  Centred on the Hastings Corridor in Burnaby between Boundary Road and Cliff Avenue, the course investigated issues of increased density, movement within and through the district, sustainability, environmental management and social diversity.  These issues were explored across a broad range of scales.  The result was a series of design strategies that envision the Hastings Corridor in 2050 as a vibrant, unique and sustainable district characterized by ecological sensitivity, local commerce, multi modal transportation and diverse social activity.

The process of the studio included a precedent study of similar corridors, an analysis of the Hastings Corridor, the development of a set of design principles, a collaborative master plan, and finally, individual design interventions.  Students conducted an in-depth analysis of the history, building typology, geology and ecology, movement patterns, infrastructure and people of the Hastings Corridor.  The opportunities and constraints identified in these analyses were addressed by a series of design principles.  These principles subsequently defined the design strategies applied to the master plan. 

Based upon an illustrative methodology established by the Design Centre for Sustainability, the master plan was to incorporate 7500 new dwelling units and 6000 new jobs, 2500 of which should be provided through commercial space.  The master plan was to also illustrate new movement systems, building typologies and green space.  Based upon the interventions manifested in the master plan, students addressed individual areas of interest upon which to focus their final design project. 

Among Landscape Architecture students, interests included ameliorating auto domination along Hastings Street, a typological design of green streets and alleys, envisioning the redevelopment of oil refinery land into sustainable communities, identifying possibilities for public space in unused spaces within the neighbourhood, providing alternative water treatment systems and expanding transit oriented development. 

Among architecture students, projects included the design of an alley theatre, community library, bus exchange, iconic recreation centre, sustainable agricultural educational centre and resource re-use centre; re-imagining the role of the corner store and grocery store within the community; gas station sites revamped into community oriented development and a vertical remix of commercial/residential opportunities. 

Operationally, the studio invited interdisciplinary collaboration between architecture and landscape architecture students, while emphasizing core disciplinary concerns.  The goal of this interdisciplinary studio was to promote the exchange of ideas between students and teachers of differing backgrounds and interests to shift methods of analyzing and synthesizing ideas about the world and design. The resulting design strategies come together in innovative and exciting forms that speak to the future, while also referencing the value of the existing neighbourhood and its physical setting.


Course Learning Objectives:

1. To understand the overlap between architectural typology and issues of the sustainable urban landscape

2. To understand how the policy milieu informs the urban landscape and may be reciprocally informed in turn.

3. To understand very fundamental ways of understanding urban landscapes including block and parcel configuration, street network configuration, parcel and building relationships, and building typologies.

4. To understand the role of public infrastructure - and road infrastructure in particular - as a point of intersection of ecological, transportation and social goals.

5. To learn to work collectively and collaboratively with allied professionals as a prelude
to later career life.

6. The demonstration of an understanding of these concerns will be observed through the exercise of both individual and collaboratively produced analysis, synthesis, large scale urban design proposals and specific design proposals.