Skip to main content

Green Spaces

Our Goal: Vanderbilt will power its campus entirely through renewable energy and commits to carbon neutrality by 2050.

FutureVU Land Use Plan

The FutureVU Land Use Plan  includes long term campus-scale and neighborhood-scale transformative projects, endeavoring to establish legible connections within the campus and extending to surrounding communities. The FutureVU Guiding Principles guide all efforts with a strong emphasis on inclusivity expanding the park-like setting, enhanced community spaces, and a triple-bottom lined approach to sustainability.

The plan looks at establishing a Greenway network, as well as balance the distribution of open lawns and gathering spaces through the addition of large-scale spaces in various neighborhoods on campus. Expansion and preservation of Vanderbilt’s arboretum remains a hallmark of the campus experience and a precedent in the Land Use Plan.

The Greenway Network

Connections between neighborhoods are essential to the formation of a coherent campus fabric. The Greenway network will be an organic instrument of connection that establishes recognizable connections between campus places and spaces. These connections will weave the elements of buildings, spaces and paths into a cohesive campus fabric. Establishing clear and safe connections between neighborhoods will create a more unified and accessible campus, in keeping with the Vanderbilt principles of unity and inclusion.

The Greenway network was originally conceived as part of the FutureVU Land Use Plan. However, as further planning discussions continued, the network concept was expanded to include a vision for a primary Greenway path, secondary paths, and a loop around the campus edge. These various paths make up the current Greenway network plan, which will be implemented as FutureVU progresses. Principles for the Greenway network have been developed, aligned with overarching FutureVU principles, that emphasize the importance of accessibility, inclusivity, and sustainability.

Landscape Master Plan

As a part of the FutureVU Land Use planning process, a set of campus planning guidelines were developed as a framework that establishes ground rules for continuing dialogue between planners, architects, engineers, the campus community and city/state authorities. These guidelines provide recommendations on architecture, sustainability, landscape and circulation. A Landscape Master Plan is currently in development that builds upon these guidelines and will provide a framework for a variety of categories: arboretum/trees, vegetation, hardscape, lighting, biking and pedestrian infrastructure, soil management, fencing, greenway, etc. The Landscape Master Plan will incorporate land use guidelines as relevant, and will be tied to procurement policies and mobility/transportation strategies.

Stormwater Management Areas

Stormwater management practices are in place across campus. The new Engineering Science Building has a cistern that collects stormwater from the roof for irrigation and includes a landscape with bioswales and a green roof to retain stormwater on site. This type of stormwater retention area is present in many of our new landscapes across campus.

Smart Irrigation

The Rainbird IQ smart irrigation system allows for on-demand, efficient water use. The Rainbird IQ uses a weather station that measures several different parameters such as rainfall, temperature, and historical evapotranspiration. The system has settings that monitor these parameters and adjust irrigation. Rainbird IQ is equipped with a central rain gauge that we will default all controllers to off when a certain amount of rainfall is reached.

Green Roofs

Read more about Vanderbilt’s Green Vegetated roofs here.

Learn more about our goal »