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 Office of Facilities coordinated with external partners to lead the Yale Campus Farrand Cultural Landscapes Study, an archival review of the work of prominent landscape architect Beatrix Farrand on Yale campus landscapes. This study sought primary and secondary sources of corroborating documentation to clarify and provide details about her 25-year tenure with Yale, to identify what remains of her contributions, and to make recommendations for adapting her work for the modern cultural and resiliency needs of the campus today.
Campus Land Use Planning Guidelines
By 2019, update campus land use planning guidelines to ensure enhanced human health, improved biodiversity, and enhanced environmental quality.
An update to the Framework for Campus Planning will be completed by 2025, informed by the forthcoming biodiversity plan, university resilience plan, and campus-wide health and well-being initiatives. In addition to planning documents that are completed (i.e. High-Performance Design Standards; the Sustainable Transportation Framework; and Stormwater and Water Management Plans), the Tree Management Plan; Stormwater Design Standards; Beatrix Farrand Landscape Guidelines; and Parking Lot Standards have been developed and are ready for implementation.
Efficient Campus Growth
By 2020, develop and implement planning strategies to efficiently accommodate increased campus population and programmatic expansion.
Facilities Planning has adopted a planning approach to new buildings and renovations that maximizes efficiency using flexible workspace principles and a baseline of 65% in-person occupancy. This approach is an integral part of campus decarbonization targeting a reduction of annual campus growth by 50% while accommodating increased campus population and programmatic expansion.
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.
Landscape design and maintenance requirements were developed and integrated into university design standards. The Yale Tree Management Plan is complete and includes an updated tree survey and guidelines for managing the university’s existing tree inventory, maintenance needs, new planting opportunities, and planning for new projects. Management and maintenance protocols will be updated with outcomes from the university’s biodiversity plan, resilience plan, and health co-benefits of campus greenspaces.
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.
Multiple sections of the Design Standards (Stormwater, Landscape Design & Maintenance, Parking Lot) have been developed in alignment with the recommendations from the Sustainable Stormwater Management Plan. Green infrastructure, which reduces impervious surfaces, is used as the baseline for all landscape and building projects, which aligns with the City’s and State’s strict requirements. Stormwater data will be integrated into the university resilience 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.
A full-time fellow is crafting a biodiversity plan framed around priorities for installation, maintenance, research, and education. This is a collaboration between the School of the Environment and Grounds Maintenance that will include courses to assess the carbon sequestration potential of greenspaces as well as species counts.