Land, Water, Life
- Inspired by student research and recommendations, Yale has installed multiple urban meadows and rain gardens throughout campus.
- The Yale Landscape Lab at West Campus, and the Yale Experimental Watershed host fieldwork and research projects, and offer opportunities to connect sustainability solutions to the natural and built environment.
- More than 8,000 trees have been planted in the City of New Haven through the Urban Resources Initiative, a not-for-profit-university partnership. Over 130 of the these are on campus, 48 of which recognize Yale employees for long-term service.
- Initiatives in Yale’s Sustainable Stormwater Management Plan aim to reduce the amount of stormwater runoff from campus, improving water quality and public health.
- Yale’s Water Management Plan recognizes water as a critical resource, promotes metering, conservation technologies and conservation research, and prioritizes adaptive management strategies.
What You Can Do
- Help us save water on campus by being conscientious of your use.
- Discover Yale’s many green spaces that help to manage stormwater.
- Join the many students, faculty and staff who participate annually in bird walks on campus and citizen science events to survey and record biodiversity on campus.
Our Objectives and Goals
Urban Growth and Campus Planning
Develop transformative approaches to urban growth and campus planning that address financial, environmental, and social imperatives
In May 2022, volunteers, New Haven city officials, Yale employees, and community members celebrated the planting of the ten thousandth tree—a shingle oak in Quinnipiac River Park—by the Urban Resources Initiative (URI), a community-connected nonprofit organization which works in partnership with the Yale School of the Environment. Founded in 1991, URI is actively engaged in community forestry in New Haven by employing Yale interns, high school students, and adults with a history of incarceration to plant trees on city-owned property and showing residents how to care for them.
Campus Land Use Planning Guidelines
By 2025, complete the update to the Framework for Campus Planning.
In 2022, the committee updating the Framework for Campus Planning focused on the re-examination of broad areas of campus, from Science Hill to the Marsh Botanical Garden to campus geothermal infrastructure, to refine concepts and recommendations.
Efficient Campus Growth
By 2020, develop and implement planning strategies to efficiently accommodate increased campus population and programmatic expansion.
This goal was achieved in 2020, when Facilities Planning adopted an approach to new buildings and renovations that maximizes efficiency using flexible workspace principles. This approach has been reinforced with the introduction of new, flexible work models at Yale.
Land and Water Management
Develop innovative approaches to land and water management that enhance human health, biodiversity, and environmental vitality
Landscape Management and Use
By 2021, define standards for innovative landscape management to enhance care and use of Yale land inside and outside of New Haven.
This goal was achieved in 2021. Through recent projects such as the Economics Building, Prospect Court, Gibbs Court, and the Tsai Lacrosse Field House, the new landscape management standards are creating robust and resilient landscapes while increasing transparency into the impacts of proposed projects.
Stormwater and Water Management
By 2020, implement recommendations as proposed in 2016 supplements to campus Stormwater and Water Management Plans in explicit alignment with municipal, regional, and state priorities.
This goal was achieved in 2020. The development of a campus-wide Stormwater Master Plan, which will guide implementation of priority stormwater mitigation projects, was initiated, and will be completed by 2023.
By 2025, establish campus best practices, standards, benchmarks, and biodiversity goals and strategies to meet and measure performance to create a campus biodiversity plan.
Although progress on the plan was delayed due to staffing challenges, renewed work on this goal will be advanced with a new Facilities Open Space Committee. In addition, current projects have highlighted and prioritized biodiversity, including the Marsh Botanical Gardens Master Plan and the Divinity School Living Village.