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What is Master Planning at Georgetown University?

Master planning in the context of an institution of higher education such as Georgetown is a collaborative process that comprehensively examines programmatic needs, physical space and fiscal reality. The process is designed to balance the mission, needs and precious resources of the institution in order to discern, in conjunction with its stakeholders, the best plan going forward.

To help the university accomplish its master planning goals, Georgetown has engaged the services of two of the most prestigious companies with expertise in public-private partnerships between cities and higher education institutions – Forest City Washington and Sasaki Associates. These experts are in the process of collecting data from the university community that includes patterns of living, learning and working at Georgetown to better inform our master planning decisions.

Forest City specializes in public-private partnerships and is best known in the Washington, D.C., area for its development of The Yards, a 5.5 million-square-foot project located between Nationals Park and the Washington Navy Yard that includes office space, residential units and a riverfront park. Sasaki is an interdisciplinary and international planning and design firm that has worked on projects with Drexel University and the University of Pennsylvania as well developing the urban design for a part of the 2008 Olympics in Bejing. 

As a Catholic and Jesuit, student-centered research university, Georgetown is engaged in a master planning process that deeply values its historic main campus while acknowledging its limited space. In order to strengthen its position as a top tier research institution, Georgetown knows it must look beyond these limitations to explore opportunities for careful expansion that benefit both the university and the District of Columbia.

In June of 2012, Georgetown, community leaders and the mayor of the District of Columbia announced a historic agreement on the university’s Campus Plan and a new partnership to align the future goals of the university and the District of Columbia. The agreement created a short-term university plan through 2017 that will be followed by the development of a longer term, 20-year plan based on university goals and the best interests of the city.

As Washington, D.C.’s largest private employer, Georgetown recognizes its obligation to responsible and strategic planning that shares a vision with the city in which it resides. In keeping with that concept, the agreement also established a Georgetown Community Partnership as a primary mechanism for implementing the university’s short-term plans and engaging neighbors and city leaders in its long-term planning process.

The participation of the entire Georgetown community – students, faculty, staff, alumni, neighbors and city officials – is essential to achieving this shared vision. We encourage you to engage in the process and welcome your ideas and comments.


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