With the 1990 Campus Planning Framework as a basis, workshop sessions were held with various campus stakeholders to
solicit input on the Sesquicentennial Campus Planning Framework. Three sets of workshops were conducted in February,
April, and May 1997. They included workshops held within campus functional areas, with targeted campus-wide groups, with
students through an open campus-wide invitation, and with groups from the East, West, and Far West Campus areas.
Students, faculty, staff, and others participated in the workshops. Participants were asked to respond to three questions
directed to the strengths of the campus, weaknesses of the campus, and what needed to be done to maximize strengths and
minimize weaknesses. Each question was asked both from a campus-wide and a functional area perspective. The following
is a summary of responses from the three questions asked from a campus wide perspective:
What are the campus strengths?
Responses were analyzed and categorized into six broad areas: Architectural and Buildings, Transportation, Campus
Character, Community, Campus Planning, and Miscellaneous. The following is the aggregation of responses, by category, to
the "What needs to be done?" question. All responses to all questions from each of the workshops are in the Appendix.
Respondents appreciate the quality, diversity, and historic character of architecture on the campus. Particularly
cited is the architectural heritage of the Pentacrest. Workshop participants also cite the "natural beauty" of the
campus, and the beauty of the Iowa River and the Pentacrest landscape as strengths. The relative compactness of the
campus, proximity of similar campus functions to each other and to residence halls, and the integration of downtown
Iowa City are positive qualities. The largest number of positive responses center on the pedestrian nature of the
campus with an emphasis on "buildings within walking distance," the CAMBUS system, traffic-free areas, and parking
near most places.
What are the campus weaknesses?
Respondents' comments center on the lack of architectural continuity and also individual dislike of certain
architectural styles or buildings. Workshop participants cite the lack of trees, shrubs and flowers, and the
diminishing of greenspace as weaknesses of the campus. The relative compactness of the campus that is seen as a
strength is also a weakness when compactness leads to a lack of open space between buildings. Access problems dominate
the weaknesses question and center on 1) conflicts among vehicles, bicycles, and pedestrians, 2) access difficulties to
buildings and across campus for people with mobility problems, 3) a lack of parking, and 4) too many vehicles on
What needs to be done?
While there are a number of negative architectural comments in the weaknesses question, few specific suggestions center
on creating architectural continuity. Planting more trees, shrubs and flowers, maintaining greenspaces, and preserving
views to and through the river are recommended as ways of beautifying the campus. Establishing better communications
among the university, public, and Iowa City is a solution to problems expressed in the weaknesses question. There are
operational recommendations, many focusing on improving maintenance of buildings and grounds. Planning recommendations
cover broad issues ("develop policies that go with design changes") and specific issues such as "directional signage for
There is a strong emphasis on a pedestrian-orientated campus in the "What needs to be done? responses but with a number
of caveats. The lack of parking or at least lack of drop-off, loading, or short term parking in specific locations is
a continuing problem. Establishment and control of close in parking -- especially enforcement of short-term or loading
space time limits -- is seen as a means of supplying convenient, temporary spaces without creating large permanent
parking lots. Additional parking at the edges of campus with properly funded, efficient, consistent, and convenient
CAMBUS shuttle service also supports a pedestrian-oriented campus. Importantly, parking must meet the legal
requirements and the spirit of the "Americans with Disabilities Act" of 1990.
Workshop responses add a current campus users perspective to the Sesquicentennial Campus Planning Framework. This
perspective, combined with analysis of existing conditions, current planning studies, the Mission, Goals, and Core Values
outlined in Achieving Distinction 2000, A Strategic Plan for The University of Iowa, 1996, and concepts developed in
previous campus planning documents lead to the Framework Plan.
- Architectural and Building
Develop guidelines for preservation, restoration and renovation of Campus Structures and identify architectural and
landscape architectural elements that are the fabric of the campus.
Identify and enhance pedestrian and other non-auto systems on campus and accommodate vehicular and pedestrian drop-off
locations, vehicular circulation and parking that minimizes vehicular/pedestrian conflict and maximizes user
convenience, and accommodate service requirements for campus structures.
- Campus Character
Identify and enhance campus greenspaces and entrances/gateways. Implement an ecological approach to campus landscape
development. Establish guidelines for campus development that integrate recreation, health and wellness issues and
integrate aesthetic values into the campus fabric. Implement a lighting strategy that recognizes safety, aesthetic
needs of the campus, is economically efficient, and limits pollution. Implement a signage and identification system
that recognizes the needs of various constituencies and enhances campus wayfaring.
Identify long range campus development needs and integrate with Iowa City Planning efforts.
- Campus Planning
Implement existing study priorities, identify needed planning efforts, and identify role and process for campus
planning committee involvement. Identify method and timing for campus constituency participation.
Establish guidelines for site and building maintenance to ensure long term sustainability.