New Trends In University Campus Planning and Design

Universities are revamping their college towns in an effort to stay competitive.
September 9, 2005, 11am PDT | Chris Steins | @urbaninsight
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"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

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Published on Monday, October 3, 2005 in Planning Magazine
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