uOttawa in 100 years

Monday, January 13, 2014

Magical sustainability icons leaping out of a book

Have you ever heard of a 100 visioning session? The concept is quite popular in planning circles and is very easy to do. Imagine a city, a town, or in this case a campus.... now tell me what you think you would like it to look like in 100 years from now.

At first the idea seems a like strange. I don't know what anything will look like in 100 years and I am willing to bet you probably don't either. But in a beautiful way, that is the point. In 100 years anything is possible right?

My personal dream is to remodel the uOttawa campus into a forest campus, kind of like what it is like when you visit a national park. Gigantic old growth trees reaching up into the sky; small nooks for students to study and for staff to have their lunch; the sound of birds songs echoing between the branches. Maybe some of the trees could be tapped for sap in the winter and we could make our own special brand of uOttawa maple syrup. Who knows, maybe we could even have study spaces in the form of tree houses up in the foliage.

Of course this is a pipe dream. You certainly couldn't grow trees in that amount of time. You would have to increase the amount of green space to accommodate the large trees. I mean no way you could do this in 10 years. Not even 20 or 30 years. But maybe in 50 years.... you know, we could get all the zoning changed to reroute some of the traffic. Maybe in 75 years we would be able to shut down all the parking lots on campus and turn them into arboretums? And maybe in 100 years we could all be laughing at how people didn't think that 100 years ago any of this was possible.

Well that's the idea of a 100 year visioning session. Maybe not now, maybe not next year, maybe not even in a couple of decades.... but in a century everything is possible.

So tonight in the FSS building I will be exploring some of the crazy sustainability concepts that make no sense today, but in 100 years... The event is called Image a Sustainable Campus. This presentation is part of the SFUO's Green Weeks. I encourage you to drop by and share your dream of what you think could be possible in 100 years.

Before I sign-off, I wanted to share this picture of the Tabaret lawn from the 1960's. Back then the front lawn of the University was a parking lot. Back then people couldn't imagine it being anything but a parking lot. Today, no one can believe that it used to be a parking lot rather than the most popular green space on campus.

~jON - campus sustainability manager
photo credit - jonathan rausseo

You Might Also Like