Open Space Network and Pedestrian Circulation
To support quality open space, Chancellor Moeser appointed a task force to inventory and evaluate the campus landscape. The Landscape Heritage and Plant Diversity Task Force identified and established guidelines for protection and preservation of heritage trees, significant trees and landmark spaces. The task force’s findings are documented in a written report which also includes landscape design guidelines for new and renovated spaces and a tree replacement policy, in addition to the tree protection guide-lines already in place. The final report was reviewed and approved by the Chancellor’s Buildings and Grounds Committee, and it is available online.
A number of improvement projects are complete or in progress. The resulting open spaces from construction of Rams Head Center, the Science Complex, the Northeast Chiller Plant and Parking Deck, and the Global Education Building each make a positive difference to the campus – as do renovation of the landscape around South Building, Gerrard Hall, and Playmakers Theater and new gardens at Memorial, Murphey, and Saunders Halls. The quality of the open space in and around these projects is dramatically improved, as are the pedestrian links through them. Other projects that will improve open space that are in planning or under construction include the Student Academic Services Building, Arts Common, the Bell Tower project, and Dental Sciences.
Each of these projects has contributed to a bold commitment that the University made in the 2001 Plan to set aside additional acreage for open space on the campus. The bulk of this commitment will be realized in south campus in the area currently occupied by Odum Village. The proposed 10 acre park will be larger than Polk and McCorkle Places combined, and offer relief from the intensity of south campus, as well as storm water management benefits. The creation of this open space hinges on new construction and renovation of residence halls that will replace Odum Village.
Streetscape Open Space
Carolina’s pedestrian network continues to be characterized and united by brick walks with low stone walls. The diagram shows primary paths in red. These paths will be well lit and barrier free; the University is committed to making as many as possible universally accessible. Secondary paths are indicated in orange. Improvements to the pedestrian network, especially safety and accessibility, are just as important in this Update as they were in the 2001 Plan. A new capital project fee will fund a priority list of pedestrian safety improvements.