UBC Okanagan Campus Plan Update

UBC is embarking on a public planning process that will inform how the Okanagan campus will use its land over the next 20 years. The first round of community engagement on the update to the Campus Plan ran from January 22 to February 9, 2024.

Community Engagement 

From January 22 – February 9, the campus community was invited to provide their feedback on the updates to the Campus Plan.

  • On January 23, we launched our engagement events by hosting an Open House from 11:30am to 1:30pm in the ADM Foyer.
  • Following that, we had a pop-booth on January 24 outside of the Pritchard Dinning Hall, on January 25 at the Sawchuk Theatre, on January 31 in the EME Foyer, and on February 6 in UNC.

About the Plan

A campus plan sets the long-term vision for the physical campus and serves as a tool to guide campus growth that is consistent with the university’s academic mission and strategic plan. The 2015 Campus Plan established a vision for the future of UBC Okanagan. Here are a few examples of how this plan shaped the campus we have today:

  • a new access to the campus from John Hindle Drive, which provides direct access for cyclists, pedestrians, and vehicles to the west side of campus;
  • the transit exchange, which added nine new bus bays and four bus layover stations, as well as transit shelters, transit lanes and cycling facilities, and;
  • the pedestrianisation of University Way, which has transformed this road into a public space for connecting and gathering.

Why Update the UBC Okanagan Campus Plan? 

Now, almost 10 years later, the Campus Plan Update provides the opportunity to refine and enhance the directions in the 2015 Campus Plan in several key areas that reflect the university’s new and emerging priorities. Some of these priorities include climate action, Indigeneity, inclusivity, accessibility, and wellbeing, and integrate campus growth with that of Kelowna and the surrounding region.

Emerging Themes

To address new priorities, strategies around Emerging Themes have been identified through technical work, discussion with the UBC administration, and early conversations with UBC Okanagan community members:

  • Academic Mission:  Identify additional development sites and the potential to enhance existing spaces to support learning and research.
  • Campus as a More Complete Community:  Enhance and expand on-campus housing options and ensure the day to day needs of the campus community are met within the context of a growing Kelowna Gateway area and the broader region.
  • Honouring Place and Protocols:  Strengthen recognition of our location in the traditional, ancestral and unceded territory of the Syilx Okanagan Nation.
  • Climate Action and Sustainability:  Support the targets set out in the university’s Climate Action Plan 2030 in reducing greenhouse gas emissions while fostering a climate-adaptive and resilient campus.
  • Landscape and Ecology:  Protect and enrich campus ecology and biodiversity and support connecting landscapes systems beyond the campus.
  • Inclusivity, Accessibility and Wellbeing:  Ensure the diversity of the campus community is reflected in the Campus Plan Update to achieve the best learning, working, and living environments for all.
  • Connectivity and Transportation:  Support improved connectivity to, from and around the campus and ensure alignment with the City of Kelowna’s 2040 Transportation Master Plan.

To learn more about the emerging themes and the preliminary strategies for each, view this PDF of the engagement display boards.

Areas of Focus

This map provides a rough idea of where on campus there will be changes as an outcome of this Update:

      1. Upper Bench / Upper Innovation Precinct
        Opportunities include new neighbourhood housing, public amenities and transport connections.
      2. Lower Innovation Precinct
        Opportunities include mixed use space for housing and commercial, public amenities, and research & innovation partnerships.
      3. The Okanagan Grasslands
        Opportunities include integration with development on E Lot, eastern campus gateway, landscape restoration, campus infrastructure (e.g., rainwater management) and transition to Indigenous landscape area (#4).
      4. Pond & Syilx Indigenous Landscape
        Opportunities include landscape naturalization, outdoor gathering space and space for Indigenous teaching and learning.
      5. South Campus Neighbourhood
        Opportunities include campus gateway from the south and athletics and student housing needs.
      6. Upper / West Side of Campus
        Opportunities include parking structure and connection to West Campus.


Honouring Place and Protocols 

The UBC Okanagan campus has the unique distinction of being founded in partnership with the Syilx Okanagan Nation. Learn more about UBC’s engagement with the Syilx Okanagan Nation: https://ok.ubc.ca/about/indigenous-engagement/ 

A comprehensive engagement process with Syilx Okanagan community partners and campus Indigenous communities is being developed in consultation with the UBC Okanagan’s Senior Advisor on Indigenous Affairs and Syilx Okanagan community partners. Engagement will seek to strengthen and enhance UBC’s relationship with the Syilx Okanagan Nation and receive input on how the Campus Plan Update can build on the university’s continued efforts to enhance recognition of UBC Okanagan’s location in the unceded territory of the Syilx Okanagan, enrich Syilx presence and cultural expression on the campus, and ensure the campus is welcoming and inclusive of Indigenous peoples. 

Next Steps

Feedback from this engagement, alongside supporting technical work, will be used to refine the Emerging Themes, which will inform the development of Guiding Principles and Strategies. These will be included in the Final Terms of Reference for the Campus Plan Update and will guide the Campus Planning Team’s approach to planning and decision-making.

The final Terms of Reference will be submitted to Okanagan Leadership Council for approval in Spring 2024. A draft Campus Plan Update will then be developed and presented to the community for feedback in Fall 2024. A revised Update, informed by community input, will then be submitted to the UBC Board of Governors for adoption in late 2024.

For more background on the campus…


If you’re interested in learning more or getting involved, contact:

Madeleine Zammar
Manager of Engagement, Campus and Community Planning

Abigail Riley 
Associate Director, Campus Planning | Office of Campus Planning