Advocacy & Safety - Potential possibility to help design a new campus
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05-02-08, 04:31 PM
I just went to a meeting where the university I work at was talking about a new campus that is being planned north of the current campus. This is a huge project. The new campus is to be 200 acres located about 3 miles north of here. I talked to my director and asked that if/when the university committee is formed to plan the new campus that I want to be a part of it. This would be a great chance to see that the new campus has facilities for walking, cycling, and other recreational activities. The project is going to take several years, but the effects will outlast my tenure here. This is so exciting to be a part of helping design not just a new building, but a whole university campus! I really hope I can get in on the committee so I can add my input. :)
05-02-08, 07:10 PM
Instead of "facilities for," think "designed around."
In my opinion, college campuses are the #1 way we can change our society for the better, with respect to land use, urban planning, and alternative transportation.
Free from usual commercial constraints, with funding from deeper pockets, over much longer payback periods, college campuses and surrounding developments can well afford to be innovative -- mixed-use, car-free, alt-trans, whatever. Then, done well, they can serve as model communities for planners and developers to follow.
Also, having experienced this environment, students can take this sensibility with them the rest of their lives, as they often do after semesters in Europe. Get them used to not driving everywhere, and they'll seek places like that to live in, and/or work toward it in other places they may settle.
This is why we penned an executive order for Gov. Kaine to sign, directing Virginia state colleges to adopt bike/ped and alternative transportation components in ther master plans by 2010.
05-02-08, 10:27 PM
Heh, the University I attended was a historically commuter-based population, but was in the process of switching. They built a very large dormitory on the north side of campus that was for freshman only, with a large parking deck to go with it. I knew many many many students that lived in those dormitories that would take their vehicle to class, which was, at worst, a half mile walk, and at best an eighth of a mile away. You can take a horse to water, but you can't make him drink.
Good luck to you though, in all honesty. It's worth a shot.
05-02-08, 11:11 PM
Design for ease of commuting from building to building by foot, tram, or bicycle. Adequate bicycle parking under cover, preferably in glassed-in area (not technically indoors, not technically outdoors either).
Buildings and walkways designed on grid system. Proper, WIDE walkway coverings between all close buildings to shield individual from adverse weather whilst traveling from building to building.
This said, besides an oval road surrounding the campus, consider two or more roads crossing across the campus width for additional ease of bicycle and vehicle traffic to access opposite ends of the campus.
Consider designing the area with separate tramway roads as well, in the case that the campus may consider a parking shuttle later on.
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