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
The Yale West Campus Landscape Improvement Project, which won the Connecticut Building Congress’ Landscape Architecture/Public Spaces Team Award in 2020, transformed 10 acres of expansive pavement into a sustainable, connective space for people to enjoy. Several low-impact development measures were implemented, including rain gardens to collect stormwater, increased tree and foliage cover, and green roofs, all promoting biodiversity, reducing the urban heat island effect and increasing pervious area by 24,000 square feet.
Campus Land Use Planning Guidelines
By 2024, complete update to the Framework for Campus Planning to align with current conditions and integrate principles that support human health, improved biodiversity, and enhanced environmental quality as described in current university guidelines, studies, and plans.
The committee updating the Framework for Campus Planning has begun bringing the Framework into alignment with university guidelines, studies, and plans. To date, 70% of the Framework’s principles have been updated, including landscape principles for open space; parking lot and garage planning principles; and sections for signage and lighting, utilities and infrastructure, and sustainability.
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 a planning approach to new buildings and renovations that maximizes efficiency using flexible workspace principles and a baseline of 65% in-person occupancy.
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.
Campus green space continues to be enhanced through the development of the Marsh Botanical Garden Master Plan, training for Facilities staff on the tools provided in the Tree Management Plan, and integration of updated landscape standards into new projects and existing landscapes.
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. Multiple sections of the Design Standards (Stormwater, Landscape Design and Maintenance, Parking Lot) were developed in alignment with the recommendations from the Stormwater Management Plan.
By 2023, establish campus best practices, standards, benchmarks, and biodiversity goals and strategies to meet and measure performance to create a campus biodiversity plan.
An analysis of past, present, and future campus biodiversity initiatives was conducted to examine campus landscaping practices and their impact on biodiversity. A Biodiversity Hub was created to archive this information and compile additional data collection and research from campus, setting the stage to establish targets in the coming years.