Honor - SCUP Excellence in Planning for an Existing Campus

The University of Florida

The University of Florida Strategic Development Plan
The University of Florida - The University of Florida Strategic Development Plan
Jury Comments
“. . . moved from big to small seamlessly . . . amazing community engagement . . . good social goals and program . . .”


    • Site – 2,500 acres; Building – 30 million gsf
    • The campus’s historic Plaza of the Americas will be renovated to better support both campus identity and a critical internal connecting corridor identified by the plan.
    • Each of the major connecting corridors now has a clear identity (mixed-use, residential, innovation, vehicular) with equal attention paid to pedestrian and bicycle movements.
    • The plan improves the student experience with a focus on residential life, civic spaces, and experiential learning opportunities in Gainesville.
    • The plan integrates the university’s innovation district with the campus proper; reinforces student residential districts, linking them with academic ideas; and creates a pedestrian and transit-oriented spine connecting the historic core with the medical center.


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.

Project Team

Elkus Manfredi Architects; also DumontJanks; Landwise Advisors; VHB