Mid-Atlantic Symposium
Innovation Districts: Expanding the Campus Reach

January 27, 2021
Virtual Symposium | 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM Eastern

Session recordings are available on the program page.

Come hear how three different innovation districts for both public and private institutions were planned and built, using three distinct approaches:

Drexel University is working with two separate developers on opposite ends of its University City Philadelphia campus to create mixed use neighborhoods that promote innovation and inclusion. Early phase projects include a public school and a park as well as life sciences laboratories and academic space.

The Virginia Tech Innovation Campus, located adjacent to the nation’s capital in Alexandria, Virginia, will make its home on 3.5 acres in a new mixed-use development and innovation district near the future Potomac Yard Metrorail Station. The graduate campus will unite a diverse faculty and student community with partners in industry and government to solve the nation’s biggest technology challenges. The first academic building features a gem-shape design centered on the principles of sustainability, health and wellness, green and social spaces, accessibility, connectivity, flexibility, and integrated technology. The university expects to welcome students into the completed building in fall 2024.

The Discovery District is the epicenter of academic, research and economic achievement at the University of Maryland, College Park. Encompassing more than 150 acres of land in a research-rich, public transit accessible community, the Discovery District offers flexible space options from incubator space for early stage ventures, flexible research and development buildings, and build-to-suit opportunities for large companies. Serving as Maryland’s largest research park, it encompasses two million square feet and employs an estimated 6,500 people. The Discovery District strengthens existing research partnerships, retains a pipeline of local talent, and offers experiences to live, work, play and learn for UMD faculty, staff and students, employees of Discovery District companies, and residents of the local community.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Define the characteristics of an innovation district and its relationship to campus planning.
  2. Describe the community or town-gown relationships that support the building of an innovation district.
  3. Highlight the benefits of using integrated planning to design and construct an innovation district.
  4. Compare at least three options for delivering the required physical space to develop an innovation district.

Closed captioning via Otter Ai will be provided for this symposium.

AIA LU 2.0 Unit (SCUPM21M1)
AICP CM 2.0 Unit


President; Chief Strategy Officer for Economic Development Terrapin Development Company; University of Maryland, College Park
University Architect and Associate Vice President for FacilitiesDrexel University
Assistant Vice President for Planning and University ArchitectVirginia Tech
Vice President, Higher Education Design StrategistSmithGroup
Vice President and Executive Director of the Innovation CampusVirginia Tech
David M. Zaiser
Project PrincipalHDR