Over the summer months, BCIT’s Smith Street was given a new look. But unlike most makeovers, the improvements are more than just skin deep. Located on the north end of the BCIT Burnaby Campus, Smith Street is a primary east-west connection between Beta/Carey Avenue and Willingdon Avenue, and provides access to almost half of the buildings in the NE and NW quadrants.
The improvements were inspired by a Living Lab initiative with the Interior Design diploma program, in which students were asked to develop concepts around urban restoration. Earlier projects on Smith Street have included LED lighting upgrades along the street, an outdoor seating area in front of NE1, and informative signage, implemented with the help of Energy and Sustainability Manager Alexandre Hebert, as well as faculty within the School of Construction and the Environment.
The most recent change saw the relocation of garbage and recycling containers, the application of StreetBond colour treatment (a specialized, durable asphalt coating), and the placement of a series of planters on the south side of the street. The goal was to demarcate a pedestrian zone and allow safer passage in and out of building entrances and along the length of the street. Facilities and Campus Development is using this area as a pilot project to study the effectiveness and durability of StreetBond, and to determine if it is an appropriate tool for future public space improvements around campus.
“I was excited to see, on day one, students, faculty and staff using the new pedestrian walkway,” says Alexandre. “No announcement, no grand opening, no special signage, simply people using the corridor. That’s a sign of good and simple design where a small change has made a big difference. Kudos to all those involved!”
Learn more about BCIT’s campus facilities and current initiatives on the Facilities and Campus Development website.