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President’s Perspective

Visionary (re)Generation

November 22, 2012 — 
President and Vice-Chancellor David Barnard

President and Vice-Chancellor David Barnard

Visionary (re)Generation is giving all of us at the University of Manitoba an opportunity to excel at what we do best. We are getting the chance to be visionaries, trailblazers and innovators as we create a new sustainable campus community.

Through this open international competition to be launched Dec. 5, we will invite some of the world’s most accomplished urban thinkers to re-imagine the University of Manitoba’s Fort Garry campus.

This undertaking provides the opportunity to think differently about the university community where we live, work, study and discover. The result will be the foundation for a new campus plan that will offer a blueprint for a future-focused, people-centered hub.

Earlier this month, we announced the selection of a 10-member voting jury. The six technical jurors are internationally renowned experts who bring architectural, design and planning expertise to the table. I am proud to serve with three other general jurors who will bring a university or community focus to the discussions.

Technical jurors include:

  • Marc Angélil, Professor, Department of Architecture, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology
  • Geni Bahar, Founder and President, NAVIGATS Inc.
  • Ray Cole, Professor, School of Architecture & Landscape Architecture, University of British Columbia
  • Jennifer Keesmaat, Chief Planner and Executive Director, City of Toronto
  • Tobias Micke, Founder and partner, ST raum a
  • Julie Snow, Principal of Julie Snow Architects Inc.

Along with myself, general jurors include:

  • Kiki Delaney, President, Delaney Capital Management, and University of Manitoba alumna
  • Ovide Mercredi, Lawyer and former National Chief, Assembly of First Nations, and alumnus
  • Scott Thomson, President and CEO, Manitoba Hydro

They are further supported by a team of deputy general jurors, technical experts and guests – including student and faculty representatives, all of whom play a vital and valuable role in informing the process.

When the new ideas we will consider are combined with planned or existing housing, research, cultural and recreation assets, the potential for quality of life enhancements is limitless.

Recent and ongoing projects provide the building blocks for the creation of a living, learning, research, commercial, cultural, entertainment and recreation hub that will be the envy of any community anywhere. These projects include Pembina Hall, ARTlab, Investors Group Field, the Active Living Centre and the Taché Arts Project.

We see the potential to develop a new connection to the Red River.  There is also potential to consider innovative ways to bridge the physical distance between the University and the city it serves.

The completion of Bus Rapid Transit will be a game changer for students, faculty and staff that will allow for more efficient movement to and from downtown Winnipeg.

These are guiding principles, but we are providing a blank canvas on which designers can express their vision to the jury.

The jury will have an opportunity to consider the perspectives of students, faculty and the community. Given the ideas and the minds that will shape this process, I am very excited about the plan that we will create together.

If you want to learn more, visit where you can learn about community engagement opportunities and events, as well as provide feedback.

We have the rare privilege to plan for the future needs of the University while creating a greater connection to the community.  I look forward to the results of this competition and the legacy we leave for future generations.

This article first appeared in the November 22, 2012 edition of The Bulletin.




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