The land use plan outlines the next 30 years of Augustana growth
Augustana students, staff, and faculty got a first look at the new Long Range Development Plan (LRDP) on Sept. 28. The final draft has not been completed and students and community members are encouraged to voice their opinion and feedback on the plan.
The LDRP is a land use plan that will be implemented within every campus of the University of Alberta, in order to improve the campus’ function as places of higher learning.
The decision to update the 2005 plan was made in late 2016 and a small internal committee was formed during the winter. The committee consisted of students, faculty, staff, university architects, facilities and operations, and Dean Allen Berger. The group consulted for four months and eventually came up with the first draft of the amendment.
“Augustana’s location and size offers different challenges and opportunities not found at the larger campuses in Edmonton,” said Benjamin Louie, the university architect.
“Augustana campus has a lot of character. One of the challenges obviously is about transportation to the campus and walkability to amenities,” said Louie. “We’re looking at a more holistic way of transportation, for example, questioning, how you improve the community and student body coming to campus?”
Augustana’s location near downtown Camrose, also affects the types of buildings that can be constructed, the scale and design of future buildings must be considered to ensure compatibility with nearby homes. The current plan prioritizes campus land uses that will create minimal impact for Augustana’s residential neighbours.
A significant change proposed in the LRDP amendment, would see the eventual restriction of 44 avenue access to pedestrians, cyclists, and service vehicles.
Increased enrollment is one of the assumptions being made with the planning of the LRDP amendment, as Associate Dean Academic Karsten Mundel explained.
“In order to grow, we need funding from either the province or from within the U of A, and it’s unclear at this point where that would come from,” said Mundel. “In the planning process it’s really important that we don’t plan in ways that assume that we’re going to stay at this size, when in fact what we want to do is grow.”
The planned increase in student population means that student residences could see changes, a welcome thought for Thomas Anglin, fifth-year biology student who gave his opinion of the current Augustana residences. “If I were to go back to residences, I don’t think I would go back to these ones. I think I would want something more green,” said Anglin.
Increased enrolment would result in a need for more parking spaces. Space could be provided underground as a standalone structure or incorporated into recreation facilities, similarly to SAIT, which has its soccer field directly above an underground parking facility.
Under the proposed LRDP the area to the west of the academic complex is earmarked for mixed use that would have academic space at the garden and ground level, with student residences overlooking Jubilee Park.
The amendment shown to students on Sept. 28 will be changed in accordance to feedback provided by students and stakeholders, a final version will be presented to students in November and the new LRDP will be sent for final approval in December.
The eleven planning principles developed by the LRDP steering committee made up of Augustana staff, students, alumni and faculty representatives.
- Quality of Campus Life
- Enhanced Transportation Options
- Diverse Student Housing Options
- Capacity to Accommodate Enrollment
- Sustainability Leadership
- Informal Study Spaces
- Quality Open Space
- Community Coordination and Engagement