Universities Reconnect with Cities

Universities across the country are reviving their connections to their host cities, participating in urban renewal projects and investing in their cities' futures.

"Universities are undergoing a cultural shift as institutions stop acting like enclaves, reconnect with communities and in the process acknowledge and promote the ability to drive urban development."

"'It's a movement that sees a university as a wholly vested urban institution,' said David Perry, director of the Great Cities Institute and professor of urban planning and policy at the University of Illinois at Chicago."

"Perry said universities have historically had a connection to cities, a link that continues today as 81 percent of expenditures by colleges occur in urban cores. That amounted to $136 billion to $174 billion in 1996 dollars."

"The intellectual connection, however, eroded over time, as evidenced by the language of academia, Perry said. Universities provided 'outreach' and 'extension services' to talk to the community and viewed cities as 'laboratories' or 'experiments.'"

"Those words and the attitude behind them are disappearing."

"For example, Morehouse College in Atlanta shed its insular ways to work with the city to help rebuild surrounding neighborhoods."

"Georgia Tech, which is also in Atlanta, propped up a struggling part of downtown by partnering with private businesses to erect two buildings. One houses traditional university functions while the second is used for research and development conducted by private businesses matched with university researchers."

Full Story: Colleges majoring in urban renewal



This is extremely relevant to what is going on in Milwaukee

Right now in Milwaukee the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee is considering an expansion that would essentially move their Engineering program out to the suburbs. I've started an organization called UWM Downtown who's purpose is to convince the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee that it is better for all parties involved to expand in the downtown. Please take a look at http://www.uwmdowntown.org and join our group, UWM Downtown, on Facebook.

Milwaukee Support

Have you contacted John Norquist, former mayor of Milwaukee and now CEO of the Congress for the New Urbanism? I expect he would support you. You can contact him through http://www.cnu.org/

Charles Siegel


Yes we've reached out to CNU and we'll have something from them soon.


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