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Process begins on campus master plan

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Rebecca Chopp

Letter  •

Dear friends,

As an outgrowth of DU IMPACT 2025, we are beginning the process of developing a campus master plan—a blueprint that will guide the evolution of the physical and built environment on and around our campus to support the aspirations of our strategic plan.

I invite you to help shape the continuing transformation of the University of Denver.

Later this month, you will begin hearing about opportunities for students, faculty and staff—as well as DU’s neighbors, alumni and other stakeholders—to provide direct input into shaping our master plan.

This master plan project will advance many of the strategic plan’s goals, including enhancing DU’s position as a vital resource within Denver and our surrounding community, promoting diversity and inclusion and improving the University’s sustainable practices.

It also builds upon the recommendations developed last summer by the Urban Land Institute, after its eight-member panel interviewed more than 70 stakeholders about the best ways for DU to maximize our campus's physical assets and improve our mobility and transportation practices. The campus master plan will also help us develop a range of more affordable housing options for DU’s undergraduate and graduate students, faculty and staff. We imagine a campus which is both porous and defined so that the diversity of people, cultures, ideas and energies of DU are open and hospitable to the Denver community.

As you know, DU IMPACT 2025 aspires not only to improve the University’s existing built environment, but also to re-envision and help re-shape the edges of our campus with the surrounding community. We want to examine the educational, commercial and aesthetic possibilities to promote greater interaction between DU and our neighboring communities, businesses, transportation routes and environments. We want to create an urban destination that captures more of the things that make Denver a wonderful place to live—with fun restaurants, outdoor dining, safe night-time activity and a pedestrian and bike friendly environment that allows our community to learn and thrive together.

After a competitive proposal process that attracted national interest and included open presentations by four finalist firms, we have selected Ayers Saint Gross (ASG) of Baltimore to guide our campus master planning process. ASG is a global leader in campus planning and architecture, having designed a host of award-winning projects for dozens of leading colleges and universities including Notre Dame, Washington University in St. Louis, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and many others.

The process is now beginning with an extensive amount of data collection, interviews and information gathering. It will continue throughout this year and into early 2018, when recommendations will be delivered to our Board of Trustees for review and approval.

ASG will hold a series of individual and large-scale meetings, hands-on design gatherings and ways to engage digitally. A successful process will depend on involvement from members across our community, so I hope you will look for further communications about how to get involved.


Rebecca Chopp

University of Denver