TownGown World summarizes the feedback from featured discussion topics in Tips for Towns. This summary will act as a quick reference for near campus communities to help structure collaborative planning discussions.
TownGown World's "Tips for Towns" Purpose Built Development (PBD) Jan 2008
Higher educational institutions are growing their student populations, and these students want to have easy access to campus.
On campus purpose built dwellings are the best way to meet the needs of students and their surrounding communities, but many campuses are unwilling to part with campus land and limited financial resources for this type of "auxiliary" expenditure.
Many universities download the planning of student housing to the near campus community. These communities view purpose built housing as the best way to protect conversion of permanent resident housing stock to HMO's and provide safe housing for students. This strategy has longer term risks however, as it does not address demographic imbalance issues.
PBDs can have a number of negative consequences. They can attract additional HMO conversion of nearby housing, as students move out of PBDs but want to live in the same community The increase in the total number of students in an already unbalanced area can dramatically increase the demographic imbalance of the population. PBDs can actually act as an incentive for more students to want to live in the area near their friends, again increasing the number of HMOs. They can lead to higher levels of social segregation of the student population.
Proper urban planning is essential to determine proper site location for off campus buildings. This requires collaborative planning between the university and its surrounding communities addressing projected enrolment levels as well as appropriate transportation system support. One-off approaches to planning should be discouraged.
With proper planning processes, Purpose built housing can act as a form of rejuvenation for many neighbourhoods. There are a number of examples of "best practice" collaborative approaches in different communities
TownGown World's "Tips for Towns" Collaborative Community Planning Dec 2007
lack of government policy, and the relative incapacity of institutional actors to effectively intervene or regulate the residential geographies of students, is yielding unbalanced populations in a range of urban contexts.
colleges and universities must both recognize that the fate of the institution and its neighborhood are intertwined and a comprehensive program addressing all the factors that contribute to community stability must be developed.
In certain areas the concentration of students creates significant problems in creating a sustainable community. In some areas the loss of community can not be mitigated by an increased access to resources and facilities.
the development of collaborative groups leads to improvement in identifying and defining common interests and problems. Many communities seek solutions to the effects of student enrolment increases, but invariably these solutions run into both legislative and enforcement barriers that make the effectiveness of these solutions problematic.