Guiding Principles

The information on this microsite ( reflects archival data last updated in 2008. For the most accurate current information on the University Village Specific Plan, please visit

USC’s Master Plan is designed to accommodate future needs in a way that is thoughtful, that uses the university’s limited land effectively and that will create a safe, attractive, sustainable campus and neighboring urban community.

A Master Plan Advisory Committee made up of representatives from various neighborhood organizations, churches, museums, and other stakeholders was formed in 2006. Chaired by Jackie Dupont-Walker, president of the Ward Economic Development Corporation, the group was responsible for drafting a set of guiding principles for future development that were formally adopted by the university in 2007.


  • Engage broad representation and participation in the master planning process from within the university, its community and stakeholder groups.
  • Identify constraints, barriers, opportunities and responsibilities.
  • Acknowledge all impacted partners and stakeholders.

Institutional Growth

  • Accommodate a range of future campus growth that will reflect and be driven by the external environment for higher education; the university’s strategic, academic and enrollment goals; campus life initiatives; and financial resources.
  • Endeavor to create a plan that will maximize benefits, minimize harm and address issues of common concern (e.g., traffic, parking, housing, community health and safety).

Development of Campus

  • Make prudent use of campus land and/or buildings with consideration for new building sites, historic preservation, infill, open space and renovation or removal/replacement of low-function building stock.
  • Consider opportunities to improve neighborhood (residential community) needs for green/open space.
  • Consider the impact of campus growth and increase in visitor numbers on traffic and transit throughway.
  • Increase student housing to reinforce USC as a residential campus, to enhance student life and to help reduce vehicle traffic to the campus.
  • Enhance the pedestrian experience of the campus.
  • Use architectural and landscape planning and design guidelines to extend and enhance the character of the campus.
  • Use flexible general planning frameworks to allow for uncertainties of future campus development needs, opportunities and funding.

Character of Campus

  • Identify existing physical plan characteristics and assets worthy of stewardship, enhancement and/or extension.
  • Use open space (quads, courtyards and courts) and circulation (streets and pedestrian ways) as the campus planning organizing framework for campus planning.

Connections with Neighborhoods

  • Identify opportunities to make mutually beneficial connections, provide continuity and enhance the physical form, enjoyment and use of the campus and its surrounding neighborhoods.
  • Encourage and participate in neighborhood development, in concert with the greater community.
  • Cultivate partnership networks with neighboring institutions and the private sector to support the development of campus and community potentials.
  • Endeavor to create a plan that will maximize benefits, minimize harm and address issues of common concern (e.g., traffic, parking, housing, community health and safety).

Transportation and Parking

  • Use traffic moderation strategies and encourage the use of multimodal transportation alternatives.
  • Locate the majority of parking resources at the campus perimeter for convenient access and the enhancement of a pedestrian-oriented campus.
  • Develop community partnerships to fully utilize existing parking supply in the neighboring community.

Stewardship and Sustainability

  • Create safe and attractive livable campus environments that integrate circulation, buildings and open space.
  • When developing new facilities, strive to incorporate new features that enhance their capability of being constructed and operated in an environmentally sensitive and energy-efficient way.

last updated 01/29/08