UMKC is known for having a lush green campus, beautiful trees and an urban location in the middle of a vibrant city.
Yet, there’s always opportunities for improvement. What do we need to take it to the next level – to make the campus more walkable, and bikeable? How do we make it easier to cross over to the Country Club Plaza and the the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art? How do we improve our campus edges and physical relationships with our neighbors?
These questions will be asked and the answers will be studied by UMKC Urban Planning + Design students during the Studio II class this semester. And they are giving the entire campus community an opportunity to have input.
AUPD students will analyze existing conditions through social media and site visits, as well as the review of existing campus plans, and environmental data. Throughout the semester, students will identify opportunities for change and development. Students will present the best ideas at a public forum in May. This project is also part of the JC Nichols Student Prize jury review on May 5 with a reception from 5 – 7 p.m. on May 6.
To make a complete analysis and plan, the students need a strong base of visuals to evaluate. To help them out, AUPD students are inviting people to share photos of UMKC outdoor spaces on social media.
From Jan. 19 through the end of February, people are encouraged to share pictures on social media, such as Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, using the #UMKCspaces hashtag. In the posts, individuals should share what they like about the spaces and if they see opportunities for improvement.
“The Volker Campus is an urban oasis. These pictures will help the students document the best of UMKC’s outdoor spaces,” said Michael Frisch, Ph.D., Associate Professor in the UMKC Department of Architecture, Urban Planning + Design.
Each semester, students in the Urban Planning + Design (UPD) Studio class take on a real-world local community project. This year, the UPD Studio II class will work on ideas to improve the urban design of the Volker campus that later will be shared with the UMKC Trustees Ad Hoc Committee on Campus Environment. The goal is to examine ways to improve the physical campus experience for students and for visitors to campus.
“I want the students to analyze everything, including the neighborhood, landscape, campus entrances, signage, parking, and architecture,” Frisch said. “So, share your favorite outside space on the Volker campus. It could be where you just took a selfie. And tell us why you like that space.”