Master Planning Principles
- Respond to Changes in Academic Mission and Technological Innovations: Plans must be flexible enough to accommodate evolving innovations in research and instructional technology, and to respond to the trend to life-long learning and the demands that mature, busy and sophisticated students will place on the campus.
- Preserve Existing Natural Features and Maintain and Enhance Landscaped Open Spaces: Achieving this principle will involve preserving the tremendous wealth on campus provided by its natural resources and landscape, including the defining character of the Thames River.
- Provide Direction for University Growth and Change: Future plans should accommodate long-term University growth on a consolidated campus. Planning should therefore concentrate on essential academic and student-related activities within the campus core, defined by a radius from the centre of UCC of approximately a 10 minute walking distance.
- Invest in the Quality of the Campus: Renewal of the elements which comprise the public spaces on campus is fundamental to the University=s future. Targeted are areas of campus activity and a section of Western Road, the latter scheduled to become a major landscaped boulevard within the future campus by late 2007.
- Preserve and Enhance Architectural Integrity: There is a strong and appealing architectural style on campus, the integrity of which should be maintained and enhanced through future development. Design Guidelines that characterize the scale, form, common elements (such as materials) and relationships among campus buildings (e.g., a normal maximum height of five stories in the campus core, including mechanical space) should be used to establish guidance for new building and renovation projects.
- Preserving Academic Interaction and "Decompressing" the Campus: From the 1930's strategic plans have stressed the creation of academic clusters, where similar programs and activities could co-exist in precincts. The rapid growth of the University in the 1960's and 1970's shifted the campus center and made these precincts less rigid. We will seek to balance competing principles by keeping the integrity of academic precincts where close proximity is conducive to the success of our teaching and research mission. We will also seek to decompress central University space -- that is to increase the amount of space available for informal interaction amongst people, in order to create a better social and working environment.
- Interdisciplinary Studies and Research: Interdisciplinary development will be a growing priority in the next decade. Such ventures may require space to facilitate creative interactions among the faculty and students involved in these initiatives. This space should create linkages between academic precincts.
- The Residential University and Canada’s Best Student Experience: Preserving The University of Western Ontario as a residential campus with core academic programs located in close proximity to each other is key to ensuring that Western continues to provide Canada’s best student experience. A cohesive campus environment that allows for faculty and student interaction and fosters interdisciplinarity is fundamental to our future development.
- Enhance University/City Relationships: The University has important relationships with the neighbourhoods that surround it, with the City, and with the Region. Plans should seek to improve these relationships by providing for improved physical and functional connections, and by recognizing the impacts planning decisions made by the University and the City of London have on one another.
- Achieve Barrier Free Accessibility: Increasing numbers of persons with disabilities are studying, visiting, and working at the University. Designs for new buildings, modernization of older buildings, landscape initiatives, and new streets and paths must ensure that equal access is provided.
- Ensure Safety and Security: Personal health and safety is an important concern on campus, reflecting broader societal concerns. Designs for specific buildings and their environments, and landscape and streetscape plans will need to address personal health and safety issues.
- Transportation: In considering transportation near the centre of the campus, the dominant factors relate to safe and efficient networks to support pedestrian, bicycle, bus traffic and visitor parking. Attention will be given to vehicles and associated parking at the perimeter of campus.
- Sustainability in Design of Facilities: In planning the campus of the future the University will incorporate sustainability of the environment in the planning and design process. This includes promoting energy conservation in the operation of facilities, provision of facilities to support alternate transportation arrangements, and the protection of natural and wetland areas throughout the campus. Building designs should incorporate the use of buildings as learning tools and should provide examples of sustainable designs for our students.
- Relocation within Existing Buildings: During expansion and major renovation of physical space on campus, opportunities to realign the University’s activities will arise. When presented with such opportunities, the following principles should serve as guides:
- Relocation of academic units/groups should be based on proximity to similar units/groups and should promote interdisciplinarity and collaboration.
- Relocation of non-academic units should facilitate greater collaboration, effectiveness, and efficiency.
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