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FutureVU Guiding Principles

All planning efforts are guided by the FutureVU Guiding Principles created based on feedback from the Vanderbilt community.  The principles state:


Vanderbilt is an internationally recognized research university with strong partnerships among its schools

Strengthen Vanderbilt’s mission of research, teaching and discovery which is integral to its purpose by…

  • Considering how best to concentrate those functions central to our academic mission in the central campus area;
  • Fostering trans-institutional collaboration, research and development through careful placement of academic and residential buildings throughout campus;
  • Carefully placing academic buildings throughout the campus to weave a web of connectivity across various disciplines;
  • Establishing and supporting land use plan oversight with a process for continuous and mandatory review to ensure alignment with the Academic Strategic Plan and overall mission of the university.


Vanderbilt believes that diversity and inclusion are integral to its mission

Recognize the diversity of the Vanderbilt community, which is integral to understanding the humanistic nature of Vanderbilt’s mission by…

  • Clearly contextualizing diversity, equity and inclusion for the campus community through careful space design;
  • Developing and promoting a community environment that is welcoming, where an appreciation of differences can be shared throughout campus;
  • Creating centers as places where differences converge and opportunities to make healthy connections exist;
  • Promoting social interaction of Vanderbilt’s diverse population throughout the campus footprint, enhancing the connected neighborhood feel of campus, while ensuring the safety of all members of the community;
  • Carefully reviewing accessibility of current and future spaces designed to ensure inclusivity, including for those with physical impairments or disabilities.


Vanderbilt is a community of neighborhoods

Encourage distribution of academic and residential buildings throughout the campus in order to expand the social infrastructure of the Vanderbilt community by…

  • Improving the collegiate environment and expanding the notable success of the residential college experience;
  • Enhancing opportunities through integrated living-learning environments;
  • Creating a distinctive and inclusive residential environment;
  • Promoting residential living-learning facilities as self-contained, multi-use residences with unique identities and characters, while recognizing their relationship to the existing campus fabric;
  • Improving the connectivity between the neighborhoods that comprise the Vanderbilt campus.


Vanderbilt is a historic, multi-layered and vigorous campus

Strengthen Vanderbilt’s unique campus character as it evolves by…

  • Carefully considering the density of built to open space throughout all areas of campus and striving for a balanced approach based on existing campus densities;
  • Ensuring that future development contributes in a positive way to the existing campus environment;
  • Ensuring that new buildings embody respectful and appropriate architecture;
  • Remaining sensitive to Vanderbilt’s resources and history.


Vanderbilt is a university that resides in a unique and distinctive park setting

Preserve, strengthen and expand Vanderbilt’s aesthetic character by…

  • Identifying buildings, open spaces and natural spaces that should be preserved and conserved;
  • Identifying memorable spaces and preserving them, while also looking to create additional memorable spaces;
  • Recognizing and preserving the Vanderbilt Arboretum;
  • Ensuring that future development reinforces, rather than detracts from, the park setting, via green open spaces and pathways;
  • Considering ways to integrate public art along pathways and beautifying pathways through art and landscape;
  • Continuing to preserve and expand the Vanderbilt campus character through regular evaluation of how cars and traffic interact with the campus boundaries and reducing, rather than adding to, the number of roadways.


Vanderbilt is a walkable and sustainable campus

Emphasize Vanderbilt’s walkable campus and enhance the connectivity of all areas of campus by…

  • Integrating pedestrian and bicycle circulation into the overall connectivity of the campus community;
  • Providing wayfinding that integrates with campus landscape and architecture;
  • Reducing vehicular through-traffic on campus;
  • Relocating existing, and locating new parking structures and new support structures such as physical plants, to the perimeter of campus when viable;
  • Carefully selecting hardscape materials and providing campus lighting promoting safety and ensuring harmonious interaction other campus materials;
  • Achieving the highest standards of sustainability through a process of environmental, social and economic responsibility and accountability.


Vanderbilt is a citizen of Nashville and the region

Contribute to the intellectual and cultural life of the region, and promote sustainable behavior and practices by…

  • Remaining committed to Vanderbilt’s mission of serving humanity by being responsible to the environment and surrounding community;
  • Establishing design, construction, landscape, and sustainability guidelines that support the mission of the university;
  • Emphasizing the importance of healthy and sustainable design principles in both building design and outdoor environments;
  • Developing and transferring knowledge, increasing awareness, and promoting lifelong learning about sustainable best practices to benefit the Vanderbilt, local, state and national communities;
  • Partnering with local and regional agencies to address key issues that affect the citizens of Nashville and the Vanderbilt community;
  • Playing a role in discussions regarding community building efforts and continuing to form connections with the Nashville community


Image depicting principles outlined on the webpage