New Urbanism and Campus Plans

I would like to share an example of a very interesting comprehensive plan – not for a city but for a large university campus that sprawls over six municipal jurisdictions and a good part of the county. Cornell University has just adopted a comprehensive physical planning framework for the 30 – 60 year timeframe. The plan defines a vision for development and conservation that integrates campus and community, future land uses and character, including mixed use zones, as well as sustainable transportation, infrastructure and housing strategies. The second part of the plan relates to applying these overarching principles and guidelines to the development of specific areas of the campus, and can inform local municipal plans on relating to campus development. In addition, we followed a process of broad community engagement throughout, and have had very good and extensive participation from the campus, trustees, as well as our neighboring community, which has also helped us avoid the controversy and opposition that usually follow such an effort. In addition this plan forms an important piece of a campus wide effort to achieve carbon neutrality over the next decade and long term sustainability objectives.

We are really excited about the plan, as are our multiple stakeholders. This seems to fit very well into the New Urbanism and Comprehensive Plans Initiative. You can view the draft final version (we should have a final version up by August 2008) at


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