Merit - SCUP Excellence in Planning for an Existing Campus

Princeton University

Campus Plan
Princeton University - Campus Plan
Jury Comments
". . . I like the integrative way they approached it—makes it very implementable and actionable . . . innovative public input process . . . an administrative change was brought on by the plan—there's energy behind implementation . . ."


    • Site – 978 acres; Building – 13.9 million gsf
    • The plan provides land use strategies to support:
    • A 10% increase in the undergraduate student body.
    • An expansion and enhancement of space for the School of Engineering and Applied Science.
    • New and improved space for programs in environmental studies.
    • An expanded innovation ecosystem that enables interactions and academic partnerships with corporate, government, and non-profit sectors.


The Princeton University Campus Plan is a comprehensive but flexible framework to guide the university’s development over the next 10 years in the context of potential needs over a 30-year period. It considers all of the university’s campus-related lands, covering a larger geographic scope than any previous plan. The plan’s objective was to ensure that near-term land use decisions do not preclude potentially higher priority uses in the long term and that appropriate infrastructure was in place for future growth. The scope was unprecedented in terms of geographic area, planning time frame, and range of subject matter.

The Princeton University Campus Plan represents a major leap forward for campus sustainability planning at Princeton and offers a new approach to thoroughly integrated planning. The key was initiating a campus plan, a sustainability framework, and an integrated infrastructure master plan simultaneously under a common lead consultant and client team. This mutually- informing planning process allowed for each initiative to be challenged by and support the advancement of the others. The plan embeds sustainability and resiliency, establishing a synergistic relationship between “self-solving” campus, sustainability, and infrastructure plans. This means that the campus planning design and infrastructure strategies that will enable Princeton to achieve each of its ambitious sustainability and resiliency targets are specifically included in the plan rather than left to future efforts to define.

An innovative aspect of the public engagement strategy was the deployment of Campus Compass, an interactive survey featuring sophisticated interactive mapping tools, whereby users drop pins, trace paths, draw boundaries, and geocode their comments. The participant input informed campus design strategies and planning decisions relating to the movement networks, campus amenities, and the locations of social nodes in relation to travel routes and other campus destinations.

Project Team

Urban Strategies Inc.; also Behnisch Architekten; BFJ Planning; Burns & McDonnell; FVB Energy; KPMB Architects; Level Agency for Infrastructure; MEP Associates; Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, Inc.; Mills + Schnoering Architects; Nitsch Engineering; Populous; Rickes Associates Inc.; Sustainable Water; Transsolar; Van Note-Harvey Associates, P.C.; Vanasse Hangen Brustlin, Inc.; Vermeulens Cost Estimators; U3 Advisors; Zimmer Gunsul Frasca Architects