SPEAKER: This is a production of Cornell University.
SCOTT JOHNSON: This is Morrill Hall on Cornell University campus. Morrill Hall is symbolic of the University's early history, in particular the campus itself in the 1860s, when academic space was measured in figures like 100,000 square feet. Today, however, people at Cornell and its consultants talk of adding an additional 3 million square feet of academic space over the next 30 years.
The question? Why the expansion? And what are the implications for the campus and its surrounding communities? Today, we explore these issues and others as we talk with two of the lead consultants about Phase Two of Cornell's Comprehensive Master Plan.
[MUSIC - DB BOULEVARD, "POINT OF VIEW"]
DB BOULEVARD: (SINGING) Can't you see life's easy if you consider things from another point of view? (VOCALIZING) Uh-huh, yeah. In another way, from another point of view.
SCOTT JOHNSON: This is the second program in a series focusing on the Cornell University Comprehensive Master Plan. In the first program, we met Gould Coleman, longtime university archivist, and Mina Edmonson, university planner. Our guests discussed the long history of planning at Cornell, planning that started with Ezra Cornell.
The current Cornell Master Plan is now in Phase 2. Phase 1 began a year ago, led by a Toronto planning firm named Urban Strategies. Phase 1 focused on identifying principles and opportunities, and involved listening to people in the Cornell and surrounding communities.
Phase 2 is labeled by urban strategies as options. That phase started in spring 2007. And Phase 3 occurs in the fall of 2007, when the consultants' ideas will be presented to the Cornell University Board of Trustees.
We had an opportunity to talk with two of the Urban Strategies consultants when they were in Ithaca to present their Phase 2 ideas concerning options. We met with Cyndi Rottenberg-Walker, a partner in the firm, and George Dark, also a partner in Urban Strategies.
We asked Miss Rottenberg-Walker why Cornell had launched the Master Plan process.
CYNDI ROTTENBERG-WALKER: Well, Cornell struck out to create a comprehensive master plan that would give them a real roadmap for guiding renewal and evolution and continued growth on campus, probably for about the next 30 years in time. And really, the plan has a series of important objectives. The process is intended to help them really address things in four categories.
The first is to make sure that campus, as it continues to evolve over that 30-year period, is best able to promote and help Cornell to continue to fully achieve its academic mission. So, providing the right kinds of facilities for continued growth in academic excellence and research programs. Remembering, of course, that much of Cornell's teaching and research occurs in fields as well as classrooms.
The second primary objective is to really focus on the continued excellence of the campus experience. What does campus look like? What kind of image does it convey for people who live here on a daily basis, but also who come from the community for visits? Who come for the first time, considering coming to school here or to work here.
The whole concept of community, which is the social components of how people interact, the feelings that they leave with when they're studying at Cornell. The way that communities within communities have places to come together on campus is a very important and strong success of the University's history to date, and a very important theme for how the Campus Master Plan will get developed.
The way that communities between the campus and the neighborhoods, in Collegetown and downtown here in Ithaca, continue to successfully cohabitate. And then, the foundation of all of the work is really an important theme about good stewardship.
Understanding how Cornell's campus fits within the whole series of objectives the University has struck-- in terms of being ecologically responsible, socially, and economically responsible-- along a whole series of important measures to make sure that campus is ultimately contributing everything that it can to the environment, very widely defined.
SCOTT JOHNSON: The Cornell Comprehensive Master Plan looks forward to approximately the year 2040. We wondered what we know about the future that influences the Master Plan. George Dark comments.
GEORGE DARK: Well, I think there's a bunch of things that are interesting. One is a campus of this caliber and magnitude is a very important part of the economy of this whole region. I mean, as it goes, so goes the economy of the region. We know, for example, that the need for different kinds of spaces is very apparent. Cornell is a very historic campus.
And so, you have these wonderful buildings, but some are from the past. While they still have good utility, you'd never suggest you were going to remove these things to do primary research, to do the kind of research which is apparent now that Cornell needs for success. You're in-- most university campuses are in a very large facilities replacement mode, or at least thinking about what that might be.
The thing that's interesting is that it isn't driven by growth of people. It's driven by the need to create the kind of containers that people require in order to do the business that they're in. It's not driven necessarily by quantum, it's driven by, we're of a pursuit of excellence.
SCOTT JOHNSON: When we examine data provided by Urban Strategies concerning numbers of people in the community, we see that they plan on the overall Cornell population not to grow significantly in the next 25 years.
For example, the undergraduate student population will hold steady at about 13,000. The graduate student population will probably increase from 6,000 now to 6,500. Faculty will grow from 1,600 to 1,700. And the University staff will grow from 8,400 to 9,100 in 25 years. So we asked, for what is the additional three to four million square feet needed?
GEORGE DARK: It's important when you take a number like that to realize that we don't have a crystal ball. So we don't have a way to peek in and say, there's the quantum that you need. But we know, historically, Cornell has created about a million square feet a decade in the contemporary period.
So if we're looking to define something for them that might be useful for 30 or 40 years, it is that quantum. But you know, on top of that would also be the continuing need to house people and to create new housing patterns and to refresh housing patterns, which would be on top of that quantum.
But we think that if we take that as a working module, and we're able to put a pattern in place on the campus that could accomplish that, we're building a fairly long life for the university to consider its growth into And I say that because what you want to do is set the University on a course more like a city would have, where they understand where growth is supposed to occur over a longer period of time.
You set that quantum out far enough so that bigger decisions like primary open spaces, how you deal with gorges and ravines, how you pursue compact energy efficient growth are all modules large enough that you could combine in a critical mass that made sense. I can't tell you in the next 30 years whether there'll be 1 million or 5 million square feet, but you certainly know historically that about a million square feet a decade has been added to the campus.
SCOTT JOHNSON: But, we asked, can you identify specifically what those needs are?
GEORGE DARK: Yeah, sure. I think you can probably-- most people would say they need some more space, Research base is driving a lot of university campuses. So that explains why you're seeing buildings getting larger. The buildings are, in fact, more laboratory-driven.
Duffield Hall is a good example. There are operations going on in there which require a higher volume of space per person. So that's why you see larger buildings coming forward. There's no question that, as I said before, that the housing pattern is in a constantly refreshing mode, as is housing in all cities.
SCOTT JOHNSON: The Master Plan is about more than buildings and lands that make up the East Hill Campus. The consultants speak about a regional campus. Here's one of the panels used by the consultants in various public workshops.
This graphic illustrates Zones of Mutual Interest where the boundaries between the campus and the city, the town, and village are not always distinct. The illustration shows places such as Cayuga Heights, Belle Sherman, Collegetown, downtown and other places. George Dark addresses the idea of a regional campus.
GEORGE DARK: Well, you know, here's the really interesting thing. You can find a university that has a lovely building in the setting of a city. And you can find universities that occupy interesting districts of the city. If you take a map of Cornell, Cornell's position in this area is geographic. It is arguably 50% of what you might think would be the metropolitan area, combined with its rural behavior pattern.
But it's a geographic event. The road system combines to collect at the Cornell campus. And I think that if you then start to suggest that's it physically, but then in a kind of collateral economic activity mapping, you'd also find that Cornell would be regional in this urban environment in that way. Cornell would be regional in where people lived inside this urban environment as well, both in the city and in the country.
And so, its presence is a very large geographic event. Cornell has control over two very large portions of the watersheds of the gorges. Which, again, is a geographic event. Not at distance from the city, because lots of universities-- Berkeley, for example-- own thousands of acres all over California. But they're not contiguous with the campus and then, the town.
And so, that pattern, which we've taken great care to draw out into the countryside and then into what we call a zone of mutual interest where it engages the city, is a big regional geographic event. Well worth studying to put a stewardship pattern behind it.
SCOTT JOHNSON: We asked George Dark to expand on the idea of the regional campus and comment on specific areas like East Hill, which would undergo some fairly dramatic changes, such as this brand new office building near East Hill Plaza.
GEORGE DARK: Well, you know, initially somebody thought East Hill was a good place to build a strip mall. Then it got built. You have the proliferation of what you see in most suburban areas-- drive-through banks, drive-through restaurants-- that's what that land was used for. That and parking.
And I think that the world has come around that now. It's come out to that vicinity. It's very, very close to the University. Most recently, you've seen the University, for example, building a general purpose office building in that location. East Hill Plaza is a great place to live, a great place to have employment, a very close proximity to the University, a wonderful place to work out things like entrepreneurial or incubator business locations.
Clearly a place for us to address affordable housing. Not out in the region where you have to drive, but in-board, where you might actually be able to take transit and walk. So it's probably time to take the pattern of East Hill Village, take the real estate potential, and match it into a much higher value, mixed use, almost community-nodal proposition in supporting Collegetown as well, because it's very close.
That puts it down the course of becoming something more than just a strip mall. Because that's a very low performing use of a piece of land so close to something as important to Cornell, and so important geographically to all the people who live around there.
SCOTT JOHNSON: And we asked what would happen in East Hill Plaza.
GEORGE DARK: Well, we've developed a little bit of a structural plan that would show a streaks and block pattern. We'd see it becoming slightly more like an urban village. We'd see the installation of new parks. We would attach it to a very large public common to the east, and probably use that to develop recreational facilities that the community could also be invited to come in on.
We'd see it as a departure point to renovate and restore some of the housing projects like Maplewood, which are just a little bit to the west on the other side of the cemetery. I think we certainly see it as a place to create employment, and to build buildings that are very important for the University that a lot of people work in, but that may not actually fit on the campus.
For example, a big computer installation building now, in some cases, has fewer windows and is a very technically-based building, a lot of employment. You know, those are very conducive things. There's a hotel on that site, which could be upgraded into more accommodation.
And I think it would follow the pattern you're seeing all over America of trying to take a suburban place, make it walkable, make it more attractive, put in a public realm, and make it diverse and mixed use. So it's more useful, more of a compact form, and a more intelligent way to have real estate deployed in that really important sort of arterial intersection location.
SCOTT JOHNSON: Collegetown is another zone of mutual interest. It serves a bedroom community for Cornell students. It has restaurants and has the Cornell Performing Arts Center.
GEORGE DARK: Well, Collegetown has always had this long history. Collegetown is renovated to accommodate the University. When you come here and you're from away, you might even think-- when you come over the Creek, where you're there at Collegetown Bagels-- you might even be in the University. In fact, there's a theater there that would suggest you are in the University.
If you looked back up the hill, you're looking at all the Gothic buildings. So there's a little entry point. A lot of people live there. More people want to live there. But the community of Collegetown has also gone through a very interesting visioning process to try and come to terms, in their own right, with where they think the pattern of that place should be going.
And the University has been participating in and listening and understanding how that visioning process would come forward. And I think our notion in the comprehensive plan is that you'd try and continue to do that. The University could play a very supportive role in helping the visioning of Collegetown, which the city and that community has put together, to see it through into a fruition.
Collegetown is the closest, strongest cohesive neighborhood immediately apparent to the edge of the University and close to the University. And I think in the future, one would just see much more of a relationship where that was a neighborhood of the University. You'll continue to build housing there. I think you may change the scale. I don't know whether you continue to build slab buildings, they might be lower.
But I think the University, through our process, has found a wonderful way to listen to that community dialogue. They want it to retain itself as a retail place. I think they'd like to, in the summertime, be more attractive to people who are maybe visiting here in a tourism sense.
I think Arts Festival culture play a role. Urban design plays a starring role in their vision. Management, parking, loading, servicing, the management of a community plays a strong role. Historical recognition and restoration plays a strong role. They've done a really good job.
And it's been a year-long process for them. And I give them huge credit, because they've met over and over and over in the stone church there in Collegetown to take the issues and roll them around and bring them back in a way that really makes a lot of sense. And so, it's a good, solid community-based dialogue that has reflected, I think, quite well what the future could hold.
And then our challenge will be to see what kind of supportive measures our plan can put in place, to see if that vision can be realized. The University has a role. They own assets there. And I think that the larger part of the community has a very strong role as well. You know, for example-- and rightfully so-- people would want to understand the nature of retail in East Hill and retail in Collegetown.
You wouldn't want East Hill, for example, to come forward and simply move all the retail businesses out of Collegetown to East Hill. That would be completely counterproductive. So I also think that the relationships between downtown, Collegetown, and East Hill are something that our plan will have to begin to understand and manage as they move forward.
SCOTT JOHNSON: Transportation and parking in and around Cornell campus attracts the interest of students, faculty, staff, and townspeople. In one of its visuals for the first phase of Town Gown workshops, the consultants indicate that Cornell's street network accommodates everyone but satisfies no one.
GEORGE DARK: Everybody wants a parking space, don't they? You've got a parking space, you've kind of made it. Here's what people would say to us. We probably have enough parking. We're not sure if it's in the right place. And so, I think there's a bit of addressing that.
But, you know, we're also trying to find a way to become carbon neutral. And the president is very clear that that's something he's very interested in. And half of the University is going through that dialogue.
Capping parking, trying to not have more parking, saying we can live with the parking we have, attempting to try and find other ways that people could move about without actually having to use automobiles is how you'd go down that path. Now, we will always have parking. And people will always drive to the campus.
But if at 1% and 2% and 3% we could chip away at that, if we had bicycle trails that were continuous so you could do it, maybe somebody wouldn't drive their car. I think that the consolidation of parking into the southern tier around Campus Road, and maybe structuring it to remove the large asphalt parking lots, is something we're clearly looking at in the future from an aesthetic standpoint.
But it's also an operational thing. If we're able to put a transit circulator on the campus that would move you internal to the campus movement, that's hooked up to parking lots, maybe we can actually get the cars to stay still while we used common movement to move about through the campus. So the solution to Cornell and its success in the future is not to build more parking lots.
No grants, no Nobel Prizes are given for the best parking lot. But it is something that we have to manage. I like to think about it more like infrastructure. And what you try and do with that is be as efficient as you possibly can. So we're developing a lot of theories about how parking, servicing, loading, access and then moving into a common transportation system could be a part of this plan.
SCOTT JOHNSON: Day Hall is located in a very high traffic area on the Cornell campus. As well, Day Hall houses many of the people in the senior administration of the University, such as the president, the provost, and other high level officials, as well as such administrative functions like the bursar's office and the University registrar.
Day Hall sits close to two major libraries, the campus bookstore, and the Hotel School. Some eyebrows were raised in recent presentations by the consultants when they addressed the future of Day Hall.
GEORGE DARK: Well, you know, we actually have suggested that Day Hall might be put to another purpose, which is interesting. And everyone sort of chuckles with that. And they say, where are you going to put the president? And have another joke. We say, we don't know.
The reality is there's nothing wrong with it programmatically, but in that location is a very interesting thing happening. Along Wee Stinky Glen, most of the buildings are for more public purpose. Willard Street, the student center, the Gannett Health Center, there's a very interesting ensemble there of places that people are invited to for a common purpose, slightly off of all the academic uses that are there.
That continues, if you can get past Day Hall, up to the red barn, up to the White House, up to Bailey, down Martha van Rensselaer. Interestingly enough, on this campus is a thing that runs sideways through the world, which is very much used by people. And what we're thinking is that Day Hall, in that location, plugged into the transit circulator, at least for the bottom would be much better to bring in students, to allow people to collect, to congregate.
You could rebuild the administration, I assume, on the top. You might even choose to put them someplace else. But I think that physical nature of that building in that location is a bit of an obstacle to a much bigger idea that starts in Collegetown and actually ends on the other side of Martha van Rensselaer.
It is the daily route for thousands of people with a lot of public interest plugged into it. So we'd like to change Day Hall. We'd like to change it. We'd like to find a way to make it the public place. It does sit in that confines of a very important place. And we think it probably is time to consider the possibility of changing it.
SCOTT JOHNSON: The words "strategic demolition" appear in some of the planning documents. This suggests that, in the view of the planners, some existing buildings may be destined for removal. We asked George Dark what the consultants have discovered that is sacred-- and what is disposable-- on the Cornell campus.
GEORGE DARK: Well, Cindy and I are learning in our discussions that a lot of people have a lot of aspirations and a lot of things. And it's-- everyone has their own idea of what should stay and what should go. But, you know, look. Clearly there are some really remarkable structures from the past on that campus. And I think we have to do a little bit more work on this.
There are many defined national historic places on that campus, on the registry. There are districts on the National Registry. There are locally-defined districts. You know, you remove your heritage, your future becomes much less clear. And so, there's a patterning there, which-- you know, it's obvious those things which really you shouldn't be mucking about with.
The other side of the coin is there are-- always, on all campuses of this size-- buildings that weren't built so well, have been around for a long time, have served their course. Never really intended to necessarily be permanent or are simply just out of line with what they're being used academically. That would certainly be true more specifically on the contract college, I would think, than in the center portion.
But I think there are also athletic fields, which now-- while they at one time were on the edge of campus, they're now in the center. And if we want to foster compact growth, they are very large territories to come across. So it isn't that we pick on things and arbitrarily say, let's just clean all this away and then we can start again.
The reason we use strategic demolition is we have to put a structure in place where these things will probably live for some time. We understand over a time period what would get removed, they become opportunity places to come back. By identifying what's a strategic demolition, you realize that even though the facility might not be great, what's going on inside is completely the core business of the University.
So one can't just wipe out without possibly pre-building and/or replacing and/or moving back. So the thing that's interesting about compact growth, which is the way a city does reurbanization, it's not like Greenfield. You don't go to a place where there's nothing and dig a hole and start again. You have to be slightly more strategic on how you bring things forward.
So the University, over its 140 year period, we have been told maybe removed two million square feet over that time period. I think that we've done an assessment that would look at maybe between 600,000 and 800,000 square feet of things that were not optimal or performing completely well, that over the 30 or 40 year period would be candidates to be replaced with new facilities.
SCOTT JOHNSON: Cornell's planning consultants speak of adding three to four million square feet of space. They discuss demolition. They have a vision of a vastly new shape to East Hill, all major undertakings accompanied by major expenses. So we raised the question of cost. Does the planning process take place within some economic parameters?
GEORGE DARK: You know, the days when we would-- Cyndi and I would be allowed to simply create the plan of our dreams no matter what it actually cost have been over, probably before I even started 30 years ago. People do not want to waste things.
I think part of what we're actually trying to do is put a pattern in place where there might be more permanence, that you might put things in place and leave them and get the full measure of use out of the resource that you're actually spending money on. So sure, there are parameters. I think that there are two sides to this college, this University.
One's in doubt-- and one is a contract college. And there will have to be some working on how those pieces come forward. We're not specifically charged with that. We are obviously being told to be as careful as possible with the expenditure of money. Money is very scarce on all university campuses these days.
One of the reasons why we're interested in a mixed use format, something that might be more flexible, buildings that might be able to be switched out and used for different things is that the world of academics is changing very rapidly. And I think we, as a society, have to get to a place where we don't tear the whole world down every three years. We're able to restore and recreate.
And we're sitting now in something which I presume was not built for a television studio, but that's what it is now. Downtown, there are buildings that were factories that now people live in them and they were lofts. And so, 100 years ago, we were an awful lot better at creating things which could have multiple lives without having to be torn down, remove the heritage, lose all the embodied energy.
And I think that if there are parameters related to money and economics, those are the things that we're really being challenged to work on. Not working out a business plan of how you get all these facilities. How do you intelligently plan and deploy your resources so you get the most-- both environmentally and from a property management aspect-- out of the money that you spend.
SCOTT JOHNSON: Going beyond all the diagrams, photos, and charts, what would you expect the Cornell campus to look like in 30 years?
GEORGE DARK: Well, here I get to pick the things that I like, right? Cyndi probably has another list. But I would hope that during that time period, you see very significant enhancement in the landscape of the campus. I would hope that you'd see the perimeter and-- even out as far as Game Farm Road-- distinguished in a way, so that you really did feel that you were coming to this piece of town and country.
You're going to see new facilities in that time period. I suspect you'll see a new architecture school, new science buildings. I think you will see reworking of some of the engineering complex, because a lot of this is in the works today. I would think that you probably would continue to see the evolution of space for research. And I think you're probably going to see housing just continue to evolve itself.
I don't think you're going to wake up some morning and see something completely different up there, because it doesn't work that way. It's a very slow, incremental process. The reason I say landscape is because I think anything you do now really isn't appreciated by us or even our children.
It's probably our grandchildren who would benefit from a massive tree planting. The redefinition of the gorges and the environment would really be something that's a legacy for generations in front. So I would always hope, in a stewardship pattern, that would lead any form of transition that went on in the neighborhood.
I would hope that you'd find ways that people would be using cars less, that bicycle paths would be complete, that you'd be able to use the trails and get to the countryside, and that public transportation had replaced car transportation as a primary way of getting to the campus. I'd also hope that there were more opportunities for people to live closer in, so they aren't driving to come to the campus. So that's my list. But I'm sure Cyndi has one as well.
CYNDI ROTTENBERG-WALKER: One of the things that I think is very exciting in the possibilities is even as campus continues to grow, add new space, and fill in some of its gaps, I think that we have a real opportunity-- and in 30 years time, when I come back, I expect to be able to see-- a much calmer place.
Because even with growth, I think that we have been-- in the very comprehensive way that we've been asked to think about this exercise-- to understand how you might actually be able to sort out the various different ways that people move around campus. And to continue to really build on the fact that it needs to be walkable.
It needs to be a place that has all kinds of ways for people to move back and forth. Because what we're really looking at is a convergence of what right now feels-- and in many ways, functions-- as two different campuses, an east and a west side.
And I think by filling in the middle and creating this really new, exciting center centered on Wing Drive-- really right in between the campuses that are right now occupied by the Veterinary College and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences on the east, and the campus that's occupied by most of the other colleges more centered on the West-- is the chance to think about how we turn most of the streets, like Tower Road, for instance, really back into a place for people.
One of the early messages that we developed in this work is that Cornell has many streets. It will have more. But none of them serve anybody really well. They don't serve the transit system particularly well. They don't serve people who are on foot very well, for certain. They don't serve people who are trying to cycle very well.
So we have a really strong vision to understand how you might actually really be able to calm Tower Road down, really turn it back into the grand promenade for campus that it's always been envisioned to be. How you might really make Campus Road a really walkable environment, instead of something that, right now, feels like the unresolved back door to campus.
How you might be able to very simply think about removing much of the current unnecessary patterns of activity, like truck delivery traffic. Things that really compromise what people are hoping to remain a very contemplative quiet and yet vital place for people.
GEORGE DARK: Our environment needs a lot of care and attention that we have not lavished on it in the last 100 years. It's going to have to be almost exponential in our caring as we move forward. And I would think, certainly at Cornell, they're very conscious of this. They know they run a big system. And I would think you're going to see a lot of environmental changes on the campus.
They will-- a university has a great ability to lead and to demonstrate to people how we get ourselves out of this mess that we've put ourselves into today. And I would think you would see they would be leading by both talking the talk and walking the walk. And I bet you, you don't have to wait for 10 years to see that. You're going to see that coming very rapidly.
Mostly because, in the discussions I've had, I know they're thinking about it. And I know they want to do it. And I know that the president is very interested in it. But it also is just good practice, because it's something that they're also teaching. So don't wait too long for that. You'll see that, I suspect-- tomorrow. You could begin to see the gains on that. And it's a good thing, because we really need to go there.
SCOTT JOHNSON: As we mentioned earlier, the Cornell Master Plan is about more than the Cornell University campus. It touches on towns, the city, villages, and the county. We asked Cyndi Rottenberg-Walker how the consultants from Urban Strategies work with planning people from the surrounding communities in developing the comprehensive Master Plan.
CYNDI ROTTENBERG-WALKER: Absolutely. I think that one of the things that, for us, is really encouraging is that people feel that-- we've talked a lot about really strong values from our perspective in protecting countryside, because of the value of countryside. But also in trying to achieve a compact campus, because Cornell's geography, in terms of the footprint of campus, is already extensive.
And for us, what that means is a different kind of character, a more dense form of development. But one of the things that we've heard resoundingly in all of the communications to date is that people see that-- even in a slightly denser version of the world-- there is still the possibility to create a continuation of the character that everybody is extremely attracted to and values very highly on the older parts of campus.
So a really important emphasis on what we call the public realm, the creation of significant new spaces for recreation-- both active and passive-- really is the organizing device for future development buildings. Which might well be bigger, just because the purposes to which they're expected to be put-- research in particular-- requires buildings which are just larger on the ground, a little more impenetrable.
And obviously that has a greater pattern of success when those buildings are consciously thought of, about how they would create, for instance, a 21st century version of the art squad. You know, what is that significant new iconic space that will be Cornell's place of orientation and departure in the future? We've talked a lot also about-- we have a very strong notion for the best way to unite the east and the west sides as being a new University Center, if you will.
And really, we mean that in the area that's centered on Wing Drive. And the campuses, the place where the two gorges-- Fall Creek and Cascadilla Creek-- come most closely together on campus, as a really exciting place to think differently about patterns of development, to think about something that might approximate more of a 24-hour centering of Cornell.
For all of its strengths, you work in one place or you study in one place and you live somewhere else. And that has been something that's worked well. But perhaps that's not the only pattern that would work well. And so, we're thinking that you could, in a fairly compact territory, really think of academic uses on the first three to four stories of buildings with the idea of residential towers above.
Not big towers, very small and delicate towers. But as a way to have active population around the clock, as a really useful way to see about having services on campus after 2 o'clock. You know, one of the biggest challenges that we heard about at the beginning is that it's very difficult to find a cup of coffee, to get something to eat. Simple, but really important things. So that's actually an idea that's had a lot of resonance with a lot of people.
We have a project website, which has all of the materials that have been shared both in the smaller workshop settings as well as in the community open houses. So there will be a brand new set of materials posted from this last round of workshops very shortly. And so, that's the primary communicative tool for people who want the chance to reflect further on the information that they've been able to see, or who will be seeing it for the first time.
And I think that continuing dialogue will always happen as the plan gets more fully resolved. We'll be back to the board with a recommended version of the Comprehensive Master Plan in October. And the expectation is that the board will have a good amount of time to be able to make sure that the plan is achieving the objectives that it set out for the exercise. The expectation being that it will be adopted probably early in 2008.
SCOTT JOHNSON: In our next program in this series on the Cornell Comprehensive Master Plan, we talk with representatives from the city and Tompkins County about their views on this plan that is still a work in progress.
[MUSIC - DB BOULEVARD, "POINT OF VIEW"]
DB BOULEVARD: (SINGING) Can't you see life's easy if you consider things from another point of view? (VOCALIZING) Uh-huh, yeah. In another way, from another point of view.
Can't you see life's easy if you consider things from another point of view? (VOCALIZING) Uh-huh, yeah. In another way, from another point of view.
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Part two in a three-part series on the Cornell University Comprehensive Master Plan details the planning options laid out by Urban Strategies consultants for the current master plan. Topics of interest discussed in this program include space both in and around campus, parking, eastward expansion and others. Conversation with lead consultants George Dark and Cindy Rottenberg-Walker.
Produced by the
Cornell Institute for Public Affairs (CIPA).