Land, Water, Life
- Inspired by student research and recommendations, Yale has installed multiple urban meadows and rain gardens throughout campus.
- 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
Campus Land Use Planning Guidelines
By 2019, update campus land use planning guidelines to ensure enhanced human health, improved biodiversity, and enhanced environmental quality.
Campus Land Use Planning Guidelines will be updated this fiscal year to reflect the multiple planning efforts that are in process, including High Performance Design Standards, Landscape Management Standards, Sustainable Transportation Framework, and Sustainable Stormwater and Water Management Plans.
Efficient Campus Growth
By 2020, develop and implement planning strategies to efficiently accommodate increased campus population and programmatic expansion.
A committee is exploring options for densification of campus spaces. A pilot study of campus administrative spaces revealed many opportunities for more efficient space utilization considering work patterns, scheduling, and space layouts. Research into additional space types and drafting a policy for future campus development will follow.
Land and Water Management
Develop innovative approaches to land and water management that enhance human health, biodiversity, and environmental vitality
Yale is participating in a pilot testing program of the Regional Water Authority’s Advanced Metering Infrastructure system, which allows hourly water use data to be viewed through a web-based interface. The new system will help identify leaks, eliminate estimated bills, and provide highly accurate data collection, offering an unprecedented opportunity to learn about campus water dynamics, and inform operations.
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.
Facilities will undertake a study to develop landscape standards based on faculty input, and gather background research and best practices. Initial tree management recommendations for Science Hill were used in the fall to locate trees planted to honor long-term service awardees, and planning has also been initiated on the Medical campus.
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.
Yale is in the process of publishing updates to the Stormwater and Water Management Plans which outline comprehensive strategies to increase green infrastructure and reduce potable water use on campus, respectively. During fiscal year 2018, potable water use increased 0.5% compared to Yale’s 2013 baseline, driven largely by indirect cooling and irrigation demands during summer months.
By 2023, establish campus best practices, standards, benchmarks, and biodiversity goals and strategies to meet and measure performance to create a campus biodiversity plan.
A graduate research assistant gathered information on best practices for promoting biodiversity from peer institutions and interviewed key campus experts and stakeholders to begin forming a biodiversity strategy. Resources, data, and perceived gaps in information were also identified.