The plan proposes an accountable new organizational structure that enables and empowers communication and joint planning between key stakeholders like the university, the city, the county, Santa Fe College, the business community, local residents, and others. The plan’s big idea is that, by working together, UF and Gainesville can define the New American City. This is neither a campus master plan nor a city comprehensive plan. Instead, it blends elements of both, creating a new kind of partnership never previously attempted by a major university and its host city. The key physical idea is to better connect the university and the downtown core by focusing university development in the campus’s eastern third, considering downtown locations for university programs, proposing innovative fixed-route transit, identifying three major streets as connectors, and orienting the city’s redevelopment toward the university. The driving idea behind the plan is that UF and Gainesville can only achieve preeminence in partnership. The university’s strategic development plan and the city’s strategic plan were advanced concurrently as supporting endeavors with multiple cross-team meetings. The plan proposes mutually beneficial development patterns, provides opportunities for faculty and staff to live near campus and support local retail, addresses the impacts of students in the neighborhoods, protects the identity of historically disadvantaged communities, elevates the civic realm, promotes transportation solutions, and highlights shared environmental concerns.
The SDP captures campus, community, academic, and student interests under four imaginative themes: proximity, strong neighborhoods, stewardship, and the New American City. In short: proximate development promotes collaboration; great universities benefit from great neighborhoods; sustainability is key to institutional long-term success; and the New American City can and should apply academic resources to solve America’s most pressing societal issues.
Elkus Manfredi Architects; also DumontJanks; Landwise Advisors; VHB