Skip to content

Imagining a future Squamish

Squamish research project 'Spaces, Places and Possibilities' open house on Nov. 27 at Quest University
Squamish visualization.

A very Squamish-looking rusted green pickup truck drives by. The colourful buildings to the right and left lack some detail and yet are recognizable as a street in the Garibaldi Estates.

Soon the video game-like image on the screen displays the Squamish Town Hub and Mamquam Road.

This visualization is part of a research project spearheaded by Robert Newell, an instructor and postdoctoral researcher in the School of Environment and Sustainability at Royal Roads University.

The project, done in collaboration with Quest University,  has been underway since early 2018 and is currently at the stage where Newell and his team can share it with the public.

An open house is scheduled for Wednesday, Nov. 27th, from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Quest University Computer Lab, which is in the Library Building, 3200 University Blvd.

Spaces, Places and Possibilities - Community Scenario Visualization from Rob Newell on Vimeo.

The interactive visualizations, which can be experienced from the first-person perspective, allow users to walk through different community development scenarios.

In addition to Garibaldi Estates, the researchers looked at the Loggers East neighbourhood — the Ravenswood and Finch Drive area near Brennan Park Recreation Centre.

"You can toggle these on low, medium and high-density scenarios," Newell toldThe Chief.

The project also includes an interactive model explorer that can be used to browse maps of different development patterns and explore potential outcomes.

"If we develop in all these different directions, what would it mean for a whole bunch of things like access to amenities, the local habitat, walkability, transit," he said.

The project was enhanced and tweaked along the way through talks with local stakeholders and local government representatives.

Newell stresses that this is a research project, and it does not reflect the actual District of Squamish community plans.

The funding for the project was provided through Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Partnership Engage Grants program.

For more information, visit