Framework for Planning

The framework for planning examines the campus as it exists today, and establishes a set of critical questions related to future development and stewardship of the campus. These critical questions create planning scenarios and guidelines that address and anticipate the evolution of our campus.

The Campus Today

The University of Chicago has evolved from a compact and well-organized quadrangle on the Midway Plaisance into an expanded community of 28,000 people who study, work and live on a campus that covers 217 acres of land and houses almost 16 million square feet of University buildings.

Since its founding in 1890, the campus has expanded, reaching from Hyde Park to the north and into the Woodlawn neighborhood to the south. Jackson Park, along Lake Michigan, forms the eastern border of the University, while western edges of the campus stretch to Washington Park.  Established in 1966, Planned Development 43 acts as a single building zoning classification for the University of Chicago campus.

The University strives to achieve design excellence in that each individual project reinforces and enhances the increasingly remarkable campus setting. University guidelines provide a conceptual starting point for architectural design, with ample room for creativity and distinction.

The Campus is loosely organized into five “Zones of Engagement,” which represent geographic areas defined by common character or use. These areas break down the scale of the overall campus into smaller districts. While some "zones" are defined by buildings with common architectural styles, others support a more diverse collection of architecture, building heights and use of materials.

How Do I?

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