In The News

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UBC Faculty of Applied Science faculty, staff, students and alumni are often featured in in the news, researching innovations, making a difference in their community and achieving exceptional status in professional or community organizations.

A summary of the latest news articles are provided below for your interest. For complete stories, contact ErinRose Handy at 604.822.1524 or

Outgoing city planner in Vancouver lashes out in meeting
The Globe and Mail
Wed, 09/16/2015
Author: Frances Bula
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Vancouver’s top planner, Brian Jackson gave his final speech to the Urban Development Institute on Thursday, September 17th. Jackson received a lot of criticism for rejecting the idea of solving Vancouver’s problems with a new comprehensive city plan, which was an action that UBC School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture professor Patrick Condon had pushed for. Back in July, Jackson had announced his plan to retire at the end of December after three years as the city’s general manager of planning.

Similar stories in CBC News and Metro Vancouver.

Moving beyond ‘modernism’, UK students to study Chandigarh as ‘living city’
The Times of India
Sat, 09/12/2015
Author: Priyanka Kachhava
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Led by UBC School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture faculty member John Bass, a group of UBC students are exploring a way to reinvent the city of Chandigarh, India into a smart city.

“Smart cities should also mean densification of existing cities, not just planning a series of cities,” said Bass. These students will team up with the Chandigarh College of Architecture (CCA) and spend over three months in the area, studying the city and its landscape and housing

Bass explained: “The students will visit villages like Maloya, where they will interview residents to study the varied culture of the peripheral areas and how it impacts the city."

Do ‘green’ technologies make a difference in the long run?
Sat, 09/12/2015
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UBC Okanagan School of Engineering researchers and a Kelowna developer are building two homes–one to current building codes and the other with the latest sustainable technologies–to study how much difference being green makes in the long run.

The project will track how energy is used and conserved in the homes.

Similar stories in Kelowna Capital News and Castanet.

Vancouver buyers increasingly attracted to skinny houses
The Globe and Mail
Thu, 09/10/2015
Author: Kerry Gold
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An article in the Globe and Mail says the skinny house could be better than laneway homes in providing sustainable, “gentle” densification.

UBC Adjunct Planning Professor Andy Yan agrees. “Knock down a house and replace it with a bigger building for a single family … is hardly in line with our city’s goals to become more sustainable,” Yan said. “But knock it down and replace it with two family homes that are sensitive to the neighbourhood context, I’m okay with that one. And the family amenities are already there.”

Penny Gurstein, the director of UBC’s School of Community and Regional Planning, adds that opposition to density, a common theme from residents of single-family areas on the west side, “does nothing to address the pressures that we have right now.”

Energy giant Petronas faced ‘catastrophic’ safety issues
The Vancouver Sun
Wed, 09/09/2015
Author: Peter O'Neil
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An internal audit of Petronas, the Malaysian-owned energy company with proposed LNG operations in B.C., found potentially “catastrophic” problems in its oil and gas platforms off the Malaysian coast.

Petronas said in a statement Wednesday that the most serious concerns in the 2013 audit have been resolved.

The Vancouver Sun obtained a copy of the report and consulted a few experts, including Edouard Asselin, Canada Research Chair in Aqueous Processing of Metals and Materials Engineering (MTRL) professor at UBC.

“This presentation does not cast a very good light on the maintenance procedures at these particular facilities,” Asselin said, while noting that he didn’t have a full picture of Petronas’s operations.