Campus Master Plan Summary
“It is seldom that there arises an opportunity to plan a new institution of higher learning literally from the ground up. It is doubly challenging to interpret a new concept in academic planning and organization.” The opening paragraph of the 1968 Comprehensive Development Plan for the University of Wisconsin–Green Bay references the context within which the original master planning team developed the physical, political, environmental, and academic foundation of the University. An expression of the environmental and social crises of the 1960s, the 1968 Comprehensive Development Plan combined physical planning with formulation of the academic structure and anticipated an ultimate population of 20,000 students. The concept of separate but interconnected theme colleges and the institutional foundation of the campus core was physically applied to a parcel of land northeast of downtown Green Bay. The academic vision was based on exploring personal values, creating opportunities for students to interact with each other as well as the environment, fostering ecological stewardship and promoting environmental research.
The Comprehensive Development Plan called for conceptual and physical elements such as theme colleges, learning streets, and people pockets, all focused on bringing students, faculty, and staff in proximity for informal, chance encounters. These planned spaces occur throughout interior pedestrian corridors in the concourse system, but rarely otherwise on campus. Ground-breaking for the ﬁrst buildings--Laboratory Sciences, Environmental Sciences, Instructional Ser-vices and the Cofrin Library--took place in early 1968.
The initial physical development patterns of the campus reﬂect to a high degree the integrity of the 1968 Comprehensive Development Plan, particularly in the academic core. Few of the planned developments or residence communities outside the core campus exist today since enrollment has only reached one-quarter of the 20,000 students envisioned. The 1968 Comprehensive Development Plan was never fully realized in both student population and physical build-out.
The rationale for creating a new Master Plan involves renewing the vision of a vital, dynamic campus that connects learning to life and the college to the community. Thirty-seven years after its founding, the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay wisely revisits the principles established by the original Comprehensive Development Plan to revitalize and update strategies for the use of space, allocation of resources, and enhancing the institution’s image. The planning horizon for this work is ten years.The 2005 Master Plan addresses many issues created by the 1968 Comprehensive Development Plan. The fundamental character of UW-Green Bay as an ex-urban campus, defined loosely as low-density land use beyond the urban fringe, necessarily distances students and staff from many amenities of an urban setting. The pastoral setting and lack of aggressive development pressure on adjacent land implies remoteness from the City of Green Bay. The university’s sports, art, and green-space complexes draw the communities together, but a sense of separateness persists. Furthermore, one major consequence of this distance between city and campus is the enormous reliance on car commuting. A high percentage of students, faculty, and staff depend daily on their automobiles, a situation difficult to supplant with public transportation given the population density of the campus and surrounding areas. The recent master planning process identiﬁed primary issues faced by the campus community and the UW System. In addition to these issues, planners were challenged to plan for a campus that anticipates an almost 50 percent increase in enrollment. The nature of this growth remains a critical issue to be resolved.The institution’s constituents have indicated a desire to take the next step in development and move toward a comprehensive array of educational, recreational, social, entertainment, retail, and service opportunities on or near campus. However, it is unlikely land in the City of Green Bay and Town of Scott immediately adjacent to the campus will be developed to support the campus sufficiently. This would include housing for students, faculty and staff ; retail and service businesses; and social and entertainment opportunities that campus constituents continually seek. Without these kinds of developments, the campus will remain a car dependent institution which has implications well beyond the planning horizon for this document.
- Establish a plan for future development for use by city officials, students, faculty, and staff
- Identify potential for campus physical growth within the context of indeterminate population growth.
- Identify campus improvements in a “growth” scenario
- Enhance pedestrian and vehicular circulation and way finding
- Foster continued interaction between the UW-Green Bay campus and the Green Bay community
- Reach consensus on issues important to the future development of the campus
- Initiate a participatory, inclusive process to bring together diverse stakeholders
Key Components of the Plan
- Improved circulation system for vehicles and pedestrians
- Efficient development of the campus core
- Efficient expansion of on-campus housing
- Preservation of quality campus open spaces
- Addition of traditional elements and spaces to support the collegiate experience
- Use of existing infrastructure resources whenever, wherever possible
- Increased parking capacity on campus
- Increased connections between campus and the surrounding community
- Promotion of sustainability in buildings and utilities
- Development of land use planning to accommodate future multimodal transportation expansion