New towns from gowns : urban form and placemaking at college campuses
Author(s)Stout, Amanda C. (Amanda Caroline)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Urban Studies and Planning.
John de Monchaux.
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At the beginning of the 21st century, colleges and universities have realized that they need to have more than a well-planned campus and top-ranked academic programs to attract students and faculty. Rather, they need to have a complementary "town/gown" relationship with their host community. The "college town" -a quintessentially American ideal city formcan provide a very high quality of life, both for students of college-age and for faculty, alumni, and retirees who choose to live in these towns. But what if the existing town falls short? In recent years, several universities in North America have sought to remedy perceived deficiencies in their "college towns" by going into the town planning business-planning new neighborhoods, new commercial centers, or even whole new towns adjacent to their campuses. They are quite literally engaged in "placemaking" and they are developing these new neighborhoods and communities in the shadow of fundamentally place-based institutions. Furthermore, as universities seek to expand their physical campuses, they often find themselves entering the field of real estate development-buying up land, developing it, and trying to find the optimal fit between the existing campus, the existing town, and new development.This thesis explores this new phenomenon through profiles of four projects: The Ohio State University and the South Campus Gateway (Columbus, Ohio), the University of Connecticut and Storrs Center (Storrs, Connecticut), Hendrix College and The Village at Hendrix (Conway, Arkansas), and Simon Fraser University and UniverCity (Burnaby, British Columbia).(cont) These cases represent a small liberal arts college and flagship public universities located in rural, small city, and large city environments and they are representative of the range of cases of new college towns. In addition to the factual profiles, a comparative analysis of the urban design components and planning processes of the projects reveals patterns that can be applied to other similar projects. Finally, these new college town projects are symptomatic of a wider trend in city planning: that universities have become a powerful force in planning, designing, and developing the built environment. This phenomenon -of gowns and towns planning together and exploring the paradigm of the "college town" - is poised to have a significant effect on the way that planners, urban designers, architects, public policy-makers, and educators think about the form and character of American cities.
Thesis (M.C.P.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Urban Studies and Planning, 2008.Includes bibliographical references (p. 173-179).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Urban Studies and Planning.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Urban Studies and Planning.