Since its establishment on 40 acres in Ann Arbor, and as additional land has been acquired, the University of Michigan has conducted a variety of planning studies to guide the short- and long-term physical development of campus. Created to support the institution’s academic, research, clinical, student life and athletic missions, these plans also provide flexibility to address space planning, land use, technology and infrastructure requirements.
Campus Plan 2050
Launched in April 2023 as a Presidential Initiative, Campus Plan 2050 is a year-long effort to craft a blueprint for a future that will ensure the physical campus evolves over the next 25 years to provide the living, learning and working environments in support of our mission. The short-term planning effort is being conducted concurrently with, and in support of, the university’s collective strategic visioning process—Vision 2034.
Working with Sasaki Associates, Campus Plan 2050 will include 5- and 10-year development planning horizons for the Ross Athletic Campus, Central Campus, Medical Center Campus, North Campus and East Medical Campus. A 25-year plan will also be included for each of the campuses to serve as a catalyst to advance ongoing initiatives and establish clear priorities for long-term flexibility.
Institutional initiatives and goals, including DEI, Arts Initiative, Well-being Collective, sustainability and carbon neutrality, and focus areas such as landscape and open space; space planning, development and land use and mobility, play critical roles in plan development.
North Campus Master Plan Update
In 2008, an update of the North Campus Master Plan was completed by Sasaki Associates. The previous master planning study was prepared in 1984, and although it guided development for many years, the growth and changing nature of North Campus led to the preparation of an update. The Master Plan Update provides a flexible physical framework for coordinating incremental development on North Campus and focuses on four guiding themes: create strong connections; promote campus vitality; optimize development capacity; and respect and incorporate environmental features.Medical Center Master Plan Update
Medical Center Master Plan Update
In 2005, Sasaki Associates updated the Medical Center master plan. The previous master plan for the Medical Center was prepared in 1980 and had focused on the retention of the old University Hospital building, which had been built in 1925 (sometimes referred to as Old Main Hospital). However, a new University Hospital was constructed in 1986, and the old hospital demolished in 1989, making the master plan of 1980 no longer valid. The master plan update of 2005 encompasses not only the Medical Center Campus core area, but also the Wall Street district located nearby, and the East Medical Campus located on the northeast side of Ann Arbor.
Campus Planning 1998
In 1997, the firm of Venturi, Scott Brown and Associates (VSBA) studied master planning issues in general on the several Ann Arbor campuses. During these recent years, there has been an emphasis on a planning “process” which would be constantly in progress and could shift its focus to various emerging issues as they arose over time. This process produced a series of reports dealing with various aspects of the planning process. The first major report compiled from this process was the Overview Report of 1998.
One of the major accomplishments of recent planning activities was the inception, design, and construction of the Life Sciences Complex, located on the northeast corner of the Central Campus. While an independent Life Sciences Commission focused its energy on identifying research and teaching agenda for the new initiative, VSBA focused on the facilities and operations side of the project. Two important parameters shaped this aspect – the nature of the facility and placement on campus. Outstanding scientists will require outstanding facilities and equipment. The scientists will need to be in close proximity to the various disciplines on campus and providing linkages to each was the work of VSBA.
Campus Planning 1960-1990
Executed by the local planning firm of Johnson, Johnson and Roy, these early plans included the Central Campus Planning Study of 1963, the North Campus Planning Study of 1984, the Central Campus Planning Study update of 1987, and the South Campus Planning Study of 1991.