Wayne State University is a large, urban, public research university located in Detroit, Michigan. Founded in 1868, the university is committed to preparing its students to excel in a fast-paced and interconnected global society, and to creating relevant knowledge, particularly in areas like health disparities. We engaged in a yearlong collaboration to understand how the university could best manage its space portfolio and to create a new master plan.
The plan responds to the university’s specific challenges, including aging facilities and infrastructure, a shifting research culture that embraces problem-based investigation and interdisciplinarity, inefficient and opportunistic space arrangements, increased demand for housing on or near campus, a rapidly changing urban real estate environment, and pedestrian circulation, transportation, and parking requirements. Wayne is also a key driver of revitalization in Detroit’s Midtown district, and the university embraces this role, its broader civic responsibilities, and its connections with the city. Community engagement was therefore a crucial component of the planning process.
The resulting framework will guide decision making around the university’s physical environment. It includes: