University of Wisconsin-Madison Master Plan
Building on a nearly 25-year planning and design relationship, SmithGroup led a team to help UW renew and advance its guiding 20-year framework for campus growth and development. The resulting master plan update provides future-forward recommendations for utility systems, long-range transportation needs, campuswide design guidelines, and the institution’s first ever landscape master plan, integrated with an innovative green infrastructure plan.
The University’s scenic 936-acre campus is directly adjacent to the capital city’s downtown and stretches for nearly five miles along the shore of Lake Mendota, requiring a thoughtful interface between community, campus and lakeshore. Recognizing that the health of the campus and its complex watershed are interdependent, SmithGroup merged a traditional campus landscape planning process with a visionary, performance-based green infrastructure approach.
This award-winning plan specifies an array of green infrastructure improvements, restores wetlands and other natural habitats, protects remarkable ancient effigy mounds, and enhances beloved campus gathering places and viewsheds. The process broadly engaged the public both on campus and beyond, fostering collaboration with the City of Madison and multiple regional partners to significantly reduce runoff pollution at a watershed scale.
This vision for a more sustainable, more connected campus fabric infuses the entire master plan. As expressed in the project’s theme, “Extending Our History, Embracing Our Future,” the plan provides UW-Madison with a blueprint for enhanced stewardship of the institution’s resources and its legacy.