It seems that the University of British Columbia has granted a temporary reprieve to the on-campus farm, deciding that it will not be converted into housing “as long as the universityâ€™s housing, community development and endowment goals can be met through transferring density to other parts of campus.” While this strikes me as a modest victory, I have long had the feeling that UBC has had its priorities wrong in terms of campus development. Often, it seems to behave like a tax-exempt land management company in possession of a lot of prime real estate in Point Grey. The fact that the company happens to run a school can seem incidental.
The UBC endowment lands are meant to exist as a perpetual legacy for the university. It isn’t clear to me why selling so many of them for commercial development has been beneficial for the student body. To me, it seems the best course of action would be a freeze on new construction not related to students, coupled with a renewed focus on education, rather than property management.