Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Post Your Comments Here On The UWM Campus Master Plan Meetings

Feel free.


Marty Weigel said...

A real chance for UWM to show some leadership. "on the transportation grid", "economic impact", "sustainability", "impact the community in a positive manner"???? Recycle an old industrial area and support the revitalization of a struggling area instead of going to an upscale suburb while degrading a beautiful, green gem. Put the new Engineering School on E Greenfield Ave instead of "Innovation Park".

Anonymous said...


Well said. I wish more people felt the same way.

SocratesChildren said...

The format for Tuesday's meeting on campus was a presentation of the fourth phase of the consultant's master plan for the future of the campus. Followed by a Q&A and information how to submit comments.

The consultants appeared to have done their job and have done it well. And their doing their job well is not the same as the citizens doing our job well. The consultants are an effective buffer between UWM strategy and the community. They are thoughtful communicators, but when it came to policy they always deferred strategic decisions back to the administration. Questions like the location of the Engineering School (still County Grounds at this writing) are being analyzed from various perspectives: cost-benefit ratios, strategies that the Dean of Engineering believes are at hand simply by locating the school on those grounds, weighed against the advantages of having all the students in a more compact, more dense Kenwood campus. In other words, if your goal is to preserve the County Grounds from further development, there is a lot of citizen work to do as the consultants are leaving that issue for the administration.

I would recommend we get at the private thinking going on in the mind of the Dean of Engineeering, as it was his "strategic thinking" that the consultants appealed to as the basis for the move to the County Grounds. What's he thinking? The public is entitled to know.

The consultants seemed tuned in to the need to honor Milwaukee's grid (meaning using roads more efficiently, incorporating transit as it is provided from the government). I believe they suggested that the campus could be more involved in reducing parking and traffic, but the consultant's goals on reducing Driving and increasing Transit access are way modest. (Can't remember exactly, but they want to reduce student driving to campus from like 37% to 34%.) This seems awfully small given the likelihood that this plan will be implemented about the same time light rail to the campus may arrive. Young people will use rail over bus to come to the campus; and this point must be heard by the administration. Transit station location is spread out over the campus into, say, four intersections where there would be four different bus layovers. Jeffrey Jordan suggested a central transit stop (using rail) in the approximate center of campus. Getting around on campus on foot will be much facilitated anyway by a planned network of skywalks and socializing spaces among and between the buildings. (what the consultants have come up with is a concept of urban space that they wish to facilitate student access and social studying in a large variety of locations).

end part1
to be continued

SocratesChildren said...

continuing from my first comment

A member of my brain trust points out that enclosed skywalks and segmented social spaces such as those I think the consultants are working on - these segmented spaces are too challenging for street businesses. The downside of the nice compact urban campus will be more isolation of the students from the neighbors - a problem that the neighbors have been working on for years. My own opinion would be to make the campus a destination for the neighbors - music, movies, etc. - to help the campus to bring neighbors into the campus so they can rub shoulders with the young people they "fear" The campus is IN the city and it needs to make itself part of its neighborhood and not segment itself any further - one way to do this is to incorporate a development incentive into the Plan that appeals to small shop businesses.

Diane Dagelen questioned the asphalting of the County Grounds, and the consultants claim to have already tackled that issue by suggesting underground retention ponds (I'm not sure how underground ponds would work in an area that already is abundant with the need to preserve wetlands.) Let's hope our community will be tuned into this issue. I am not the go-to person here.

The consultants support the location of the school of freshwater sciences on E Greenfield, alongside the Great Lakes Water Institute. If you write in, please give this your whole-hearted support. It will mean the eventual densification and development of First Street into an urban corridor probably similar to Oakland Ave. On October 8 the City will have an open house on the first street car tracks, including several options for starters, and several ideas about the future (including First Street)

The Master Plan website is at :

more later as I think of it.
Bill Sell