Campus Planning

When we plan at the University of Alberta, we strive to be responsive to academic and research goals; foster academic and research communities; promote smart growth and sustainability; be welcoming, attractive, memorable, accessible and safe; and accommodate mutually beneficial partnerships.

We do this using the following three planning tools:

Long Range Development Plan

  • The Long Range Development Plan provides the overall planning framework for development over the next 30 years, guiding physical growth at the five campus sites of the U of A.
  • It responds to the Comprehensive Institutional Plan, which sets the academic and research goals for the institution.
  • It outlines high-level, strategic planning principles that are to be followed as development proceeds.
  • It is not a building plan, but a road map that guides future planning.

If the Long Range Development Plan is amended, a consultation process would then be implemented in accordance with Appendix XVIII of the Long Range Development Plan.

Sector plans

  • Using the Long Range Development Plan as the framework, sector plans provide the next level of detail of an integrated land use plan.
  • Land use is further refined with the identification of pathways, open spaces, nodes, circulation routes and districts.
  • Like the Long Range Development Plan, development zones represent where a building is to be located, not the actual building.
  • Build-out concepts are developed to verify massing and that the planned growth/program can be accommodated within the prescribed guidelines.

    Business case

    • A business case outlines the need for a new or repurposed building and is tied to the general space programs for the respective faculty or administrative unit.
    • It provides the institution and government with strategic information such as strategic alignment, operational benefits, program risks and a cost-benefit analysis.
    • It outlines the program that will be accommodated, the scale of the building, its budget, funding sources and respective lights-on funding requirements. 
    • It sets in motion the funding request to government.
    At the conclusion of a successful business case, substantial development for a building project would begin. A substantial development consultation process would then be implemented for the project in accordance with Appendix XVIII of the Long Range Development Plan.

    Campus planning is based on three main planning principles: smart growth, planned communities and sustainability pillars.

    U of A smart growth principles

    • Pursue a healthy and sustainable campus.
    • Realize operational, academic and social benefits to the university and the surrounding communities.
    • Create greater connections and communication with surrounding communities.
    • Create lasting, meaningful and accessible places.
    • While the university needs to maintain barrier-free access and service availability to various facilities, it will promote a pedestrian-oriented campus to the extent possible.
    • Smart growth appreciates that campus development will need to be phased.

    U of A planned communities principles

    • Enhance and build upon existing sustainability and resource stewardship philosophy of the U of A by balancing the three spheres of sustainability: social, economic and environmental.
    • Create an academic and residential environment that fosters the energetic exchange of ideas and creates a unique sense of place.
    • Promote opportunities for campus to act as a living laboratory, utilizing the site for the testing and integration of future urban design innovations.
    • Provide strong connections with neighbouring communities, allowing for shared amenities and services.
    • Support and advance the university's goal of becoming one of the world's top public educational institutions.
    • Optimize use of budgetary resources and partnership funding.

    U of A sustainability pillars

    • Energy efficiency
    • Water and waste water management
    • Water and storm water management
    • Ecology and the environment
    • Transportation
    • Healthy and complete communities