Dalhousie’s campus master plan of 2010 calls for the area at the top of University Avenue, adjacent to the Killam Library, to be re-designed into a vibrant and diverse public space. The 200th anniversary in 2018 presents an opportunity to design this area so it reflects Dalhousie’s values heading into a third century, and supports the university’s desire to be an institution committed to inclusivity and diversity. This part of campus, at the historic heart of Dalhousie, is symbolic. It has the potential to become a unique expression of inclusivity and a gathering place for everyone. The bicentennial year is an opportunity for the university to make visible its identity as a diverse and inclusive institution, acknowledging indigenous, colonial and post-colonial perspectives and to represent the university’s past, present, and future.
The goal for the space is to create an inspirational public space that is symbolic and emblematic – a ‘Bicentennial Commons’ that is meaningful locally and globally, for people of all cultures. Ensuring that this project is inclusive and diverse we want to include the Dalhousie Community during the pre-planning, implementation and construction phases of the project through unique engagement activities. The design concept of the space can be unveiled as a celebration for Dalhousie’s 200th anniversary, while continuing to grow and develop as a legacy project.