(Photo: SFU)

‘Future of Surrey’ panel at SFU Surrey this Wednesday

Urban design students spent three years investigating what Surrey might look like in 2060

What will Surrey look like in 2060?

Urban design students have spent three years investigating what the city might evolve into by that time, given current plans and trends.

Their findings will be a springboard for discussion at an SFU Surrey event this Wednesday, called ‘A Panel on the Future of Surrey.’

Panelists will be Surrey Mayor Linda Hepner, Director of SFU’s Cities Program Andy Yan and former B.C. premier Mike Harcourt, who also served as Vancouver mayor.

“For three years students in the new Master of Urban Design program, which I led for these same three years, studied Surrey with the purpose of answering this question,” explained professor Patrick Condon, who helped design Surrey’s East Clayton neighbourhood.

It was a partnership between the City of Surrey and UBC, added Condon.

“These are not plans but rather they are descriptions of possible, and eminently practical, possible futures,” Condon told the Now-Leader. “They focus on three elements that may guide change over those decades: the LRT plan, the Frequent Transit Network plan, and the use and protection of Green Zone lands.”

A flyer for the SFU event notes Surrey “will be the most populous city in B.C.” by 2060 and “among the top ten most populous cities in Canada. In addition, as the Metro Vancouver region grows predominantly to the east, Surrey will be at the geographic centre of the urban region as well.”

The poster raises several questions: “What happens when the region’s largest ‘suburb’ is the ‘centre city?’ How does the role of this huge and poly-centric city change? What does a city look like that grows not primarily from internal births but rather from wave after wave of immigration? How does an archetypal suburban city, one organized around the needs of baby boomer era families, adapt itself to the wildly cosmopolitan demographics of today, of tomorrow, of four decades from now? And how does a city organized around the car become a sustainability leader, where living, moving and working are all contributing to making a better world? We are clearly looking at a different city, a different region, and even a different world.”

Ahead of the Wednesday event, Condon was also set to present their research to Surrey City Council at a meeting Monday night.

The SFU event is set to begin Wednesday (Feb. 7) at 6:30 p.m. at SFU Surrey (13450 102nd Ave.) in the Westminster Savings Theatre.


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