Campus Physical Framework Vision Project

Campuses are incredible places. The University of Oregon is an invaluable resource to our community. It is the single largest employer in Eugene and is a strong magnet for attracting the best and brightest to our city. As a living repository for the history of this region, the university inspires students to shape the future armed with the knowledge, experience, and curiosity that are hallmarks of UO grads.

Planning ahead (with built-in flexibility for unknowns) allows us to make informed decisions to:

  1. Make the most efficient use of our limited and precious land resources.
  2. Make buildings that work well and are a joy to inhabit.
  3. Preserve and expand upon the beautiful campus we have inherited from those who labored for over a century to build and nurture it.
  4. Create opportunities we cannot imagine now for those who come after us.

A failure to plan would likely result in a squandering of our land, poorly conceived, unloved buildings, ugly vistas, and a lack of options for those who come after us.

We felt compelled therefore, to analyze the planning tools and resources we have now, and the needs that we may have to accommodate in the future. Through the Framework Vision Project, we engaged third party experts to give us their objective opinions. Now we need to come together as a community of people (who care deeply about our university and our city) to consider their recommendations and decide how to move forward.

Project Goals

The goal of the UO Campus Physical Framework Vision Project (FVP) was to create a comprehensive physical framework vision of open spaces and buildings, which will bring greater specificity to the Campus Plan, better inform decisions on how to accommodate growth and change, and preserve the beauty and functionality of the campus.  The final product of this study is a document intended to supplement the Campus Plan

The project evaulates the open-space framework, indicates where uses should occur, considers design areas and/or use zones and densities within campus, specifies the placement of future buildings relative to open-space areas, and suggests further development and improvement of open spaces and open-space components.

An appointed 14-member Advisory Group provided guidance to the UO Campus Physical Framework Vision Project, along with input from other advisory groups such as the Campus Planning Committee and the Space Advisory Group. UO Campus Planning staff managed the project and professional consultants executing the FVP work program. Campus planner and landscape architect Robert Sabbatini, AICP FASLA led the consulting team with landscape architects, designers, architects, and campus planners from PLACE studio and Perkins+Will.

Final Framework Vision Project Report 

Related Documents 

Frequently Asked Questions

Why was this project commissioned?
The Framework Vision Project was commissioned to create a comprehensive physical framework vision of open spaces and buildings, which will bring greater specificity to the Campus Plan, better inform decisions on how to accommodate growth and change, and preserve the beauty and functionality of the campus. 
 
Who authored the document?
Nationally regarded campus planner and landscape architect Robert Sabbatini, AICP FASLA leads the project consulting team comprised of landscape architects, designers, architects, and campus planners from PLACE studio and Perkins+Will.
 
Does it replace the Campus Plan?
No - the Framework Vision Project (FVP) provides recommendation for updates to the Campus Plan. These updates will be subject to the standard amendment process as detailed in the Campus Plan, which includes opportunities for involvement.
 
Who has been involved in the process?
Throughout the 14-month planning study, the project team solicited feedback from the project advisory group, the Space Advisory Group, the Campus Planning Committee at four workshop presentations, and from the wider community at five open houses and two public lectures. Planning staff also developed the interactive MyCampus survey and received feedback from nearly 1400 students, faculty, staff, alumni and neighbors. Additional opportunities for input will be essential when recommended actions are considered for implementation.
 
What are some of the key findings of the Framework Vision Project?
Capacity Findings
  • Infill opportunities exist in the established areas of the campus, achievable without compromising the campus’s beauty and function.
  • Land north of the railroad tracks is only needed for playing fields.
  • While the university needs some of the area in North Design Area between the railroad tracks and Franklin Boulevard, a large portion of the land is not needed to meet the 34,000 student enrollment. This may offer a significant opportunity to the university for partnerships or as a land bank for unforeseen future program needs.
  • Only a minor portion of the Walnut Station area (Romania etc.) is needed; it too offers a significant opportunity.
  • Building north of Franklin Boulevard will initially challenge the culture within and among departments; this will be remedied over time as the area develops.

Campus Framework Findings

  • Open space and connectors are the key elements of the campus framework.
  • The campus framework will create a cohesive campus as the university expands north and east from its historic core.
  • The university needs to present a positive image along the campus edges and corridors.
  • Opportunities exist to create pedestrian-first zones on E13th and 15th Avenues.
  • Creating a large Heart-of-Campus space will generate a shared focal point for the campus community.
  • Safely crossing Franklin Boulevard is a challenge.

Implementation Findings

  • The majority of the UOCPFV can be assimilated into the existing Campus Plan, guided and enforced using that policy document.
  • There are minimal funds for open space improvements.
  • Moving to structured parking to create pedestrian zones, open space and building sites is an essential and expensive strategy that lacks a funding source.
  • Additional analysis is needed to guide implementation, especially in the area of transportation and parking.
  • It may be possible to create a park-like setting at the river's edge in coordination with neighboring properties. 
How large will the campus grow?
The Framework Vision Project was not designed to establish whether or not (and how much) the campus will grow. At this time, it is not known. For that reason, the FVP assessed a series of different grow scenarios to determine resulting impacts on campus character and function.
 
Why does this project assess development needs for 34,000 students if the university doesn’t have plans to grow that large?
There are no current plans for the University of Oregon to increase its enrollment. However, we do not know what the future might hold and we would like to be prepared for potential growth scenarios so that if there is a need to grow we can do so in an informed and thoughtful way, preserving the fundamental character of the University of Oregon’s campus. The FVP assess a series of growth scenarios. Scenario One shows permissible development sites for space needs that are required to right-size the student/faculty ratio for the current level of enrollment. The current and planned future projects are all in Scenario One. Scenarios Two, Three, and Four show physical development needs for increased student enrollment.

As explained in the Campus Plan - the university recognizes the need to respond quickly to emerging opportunities for facilities improvements, but also emphasizes long-range planning and the importance of maintaining continuity in development decisions over time. A shared vision ensures that every change, big or small, will lead the university toward a unified and successful campus design.

How can I find out more?
The final report and appendix can be downloaded here:

Site Selection Studies

Additional Information

For additional information on the UO Campus Physcial Framework Vision Project, contact:

Eleni Tsivitzi
Planning Associate
eleni@uoregon.edu
541-346-5024