New Trends In University Campus Planning and Design

Universities are revamping their college towns in an effort to stay competitive.

"After decades of viewing themselves as special enclaves, colleges and universities are reaching across their boundaries to surrounding neighborhoods and building safe, inviting, mixed-use "college towns" aimed at luring the best and brightest faculty and students.

...With their street-friendly, new urbanist architecture and planning, projects such as OSU's South Campus Gateway represent a sharp turnaround from urban campus planning in the 1960s and 70s, when universities took advantage of federally funded urban renewal programs to clear entire blocks and build single-purpose academic buildings. The result often alienated students and neighbors alike.

Today, many academic institutions are partnering with cities, consulting with neighborhoods, forming citizen advisory groups, and embracing mixed-use developments that blur the edges of campus rather than impose hard boundaries.

It's a case of enlightened self-interest. Corporations and department stores can leave cities with ease, but universities aren't portable. They realize that their fortunes are tied to their immediate environs and to cities as a whole. And they fear they'll lose the race for students and faculty if they can't provide safe, attractive settings in which to live and learn."

Thanks to American Planning Association

Full Story: Big Man Off Campus

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