University of Southern Mississippi | Hattiesburg, MS
The University of Southern Mississippi (USM) Master Facility Plan delineates a physical setting that strengthens the quality of the collegiate experience and establishes a sustainable campus that places equal value on social, economic, and environmental issues. The plan is informed by and strengthens the academic mission of the university.
Many goals guided the planning process, each addressing a different aspect of the quality of place on campus. Sasaki's plan achieves these goals in an integrated way. The plan enhances the functional relationships between and among the academic, administrative, residential, public, and social activities of the university. It renews existing public entry points and created new entries into the campus, brings clarity and order to the campus circulation and transportation systems, and improves the quality and connectivity of the pedestrian and open space environment. Sasaki's plan identifies the potential building and site development capacity and establishes a scale and character for prospective development and redevelopment sites. It also preserves and regenerates the historical and sacred places, icons, and vistas on campus. Finally, the plan responds to the sustainable design goals related to natural systems, water resources, energy and atmosphere, integrated transportation, and community.
The USM master plan provides several design recommendations and strategies to assist the university in moving toward a more sustainable approach to development. Specific recommendations include reducing energy consumption by facilitating a compact land use pattern and reducing the heat island effect, providing alternative transportation options such as bicycles, transit, and increased pedestrianization, and addressing stormwater management issues.
Fundamental to the master plan is the goal of enhancing and preserving the natural systems of the campus. Sasaki's plan extends the total tree cover and vegetation to aid in the management of stormwater runoff and provide shade for human comfort. The plan enhances an existing stream corridor to create a working landscape that provides a drainage channel for stormwater, and an organizing structure for land use.