Land & Open Space


Alone among U.S. college and university campuses, the University of Virginia’s Academical Village has been designated one of 830 international UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The Academical Village, as designed by Thomas Jefferson, is an early example of a tightly woven mixed-use campus, incorporating faculty and student housing, dining and teaching with social spaces. Stewardship of the University Grounds takes many forms: architectural oversight, historic preservation, land use planning, stormwater management, and responsible maintenance (Grounds master plan). The Office of the Architect leads planning for the University. Read more about land use planning, including the Grounds Plan and Academical Village Cultural Landscape.

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The Open Space Working Group under the Environmental Stewardship Subcommittee has undertaken initiatives to increase access to green space. The working group collaborates with the U.Va. Foundation to preserve, enrich, and strategically develop University land. The Open Space working group is currently piloting a project to install solar powered charging stations on Grounds for personal electronics.


The Biophilic Cities Project (School of architecture) is an umbrella term that refers to research and policy work on biophilic cities, both domestically and internationally, by Professor Tim Beatley and his team at the University of Virginia’s School of Architecture. Its principal aim is to advance the theory and practice of planning for biophilic cities, through a combination of collaborative research, dialogue and exchange, teaching.

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