Guiding Principles

Pursuit of Urban Mission

From its founding in 1964, UMass Boston was defined as a university with an “urban mission” whose teaching, research, and service programs will serve the public and promote community engagement. For the Master Plan, particular attention is paid to the site location and design of facilities in support of academic priorities that seek to advance UMass Boston’s urban mission. In addition, collaborative strategies will be considered that cultivate partnerships with the community and integrate campus plans with those of the larger community.    

Student Life

In recognition of the need to improve student life at UMass Boston, the Master Plan focuses on reconceptualizing space to meet the specific needs of both commuting and resident students (i.e., accessibility of information, social and cultural events, dining, rest and comfort, intercollegiate athletics, recreation, physical fitness and wellness) and determine how it can support the enhancement of the student experience at UMass Boston.

Green/Sustainable Facilities and Environmental Priority

UMass Boston's strong commitment to environmental protection and sustainability is integral to master planning efforts.  Sustainable site development, energy efficient building design and materials, renewable energy sources and technologies, use of recyclable and locally available materials, and increased reliance on clean transportation alternatives will be prioritized.

Durability and Flexibility of Space

Given the environmental conditions of the campus, durability of facilities is an important design standard for future buildings.  Moreover, the need to maximize the versatility of space and technological resources must be considered in the design of academic buildings that will enable space to be reconfigured over time without major structural modifications, while providing an inviting teaching and learning environment for students and faculty, and the necessary infrastructure for existing and future technology.

Integration of Space Functions

New and renovated academic facilities should house a mix of academic programs so as to help support interdisciplinary instruction and research at UMass Boston.  Under this concept, non-academic and co-curricula activities regarding student life and other social activities, would also reside in academic facilities as one method of helping to meet student needs and concerns.

Use of Ground Level Space

In an effort to help enliven campus life and provide an asset to the larger community, campus buildings should accommodate non-academic functions such as retail, recreation, physical fitness and wellness, and public safety.

Incorporation with Natural Surroundings

The future campus design and orientation should take full advantage of the natural beauty of Columbia Point and sensibly integrate the physical plant with the waterfront.

Integration with the Surrounding Community

Through the rebuilding of the campus, options exist to strengthen in a respectful manner the university’s physical connection with its neighbors, including the John F. Kennedy Library and Museum, the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate, and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Archives, and enhance its place in the neighborhood as an accessible area.

Transportation and Parking

Through campus design, comprehensive solutions to accessibility to the campus should be addressed including the facilitation of multimodal transportation alternatives (i.e. bus, subway, automobiles, bikeways, boat, and pathways) and construction and location of above ground parking structures that respect pedestrian connections, adjoining land uses, and the natural surroundings, and enhances connections with the surrounding community. The university will coordinate with other state and municipal agencies on future transportation plans for Columbia Point.

Future Growth and Development

The master plan’s  future building sites provide a range of future land use activities to support the academic mission of UMass Boston and allows for growth and development that positively impacts adjacent land use, campus accessibility, and the natural surroundings.