U-M releases high-level preview of Campus Plan 2050


Following a year of campus engagement to discuss ideas for the future of the Ann Arbor campus, and the conclusion of work on the Vision 2034 strategic vision, a high-level, preliminary draft preview of Campus Plan 2050 is now available.

Organizers will continue to develop the plan before its formal release in the fall.


The preview, which can be found on the Campus Plan 2050 website, consists of a series of framework and systems plans outlining greenspace, mobility enhancements and potential locations for future facilities, among other features.

“Campus Plan 2050 will help enable us to make Vision 2034 possible. It is exciting to be able to share some of the initial draft planning recommendations now, in advance of a more comprehensive report in early fall,” said Sue Gott, associate director for planning and communication and a key coordinator for the campus planning.

“We are fortunate to have had such tremendous input from the campus community to help formulate these ideas.”

While the campus plan addresses near-term development opportunities, it also outlines a long-term vision of possibilities for the Ann Arbor campus through a 25-year framework. Development zones and areas indicate various locations where a range of projects are possible. The university plans to determine specific projects for these zones as needs evolve.

Campus Plan 2050 highlights include:

Academic mission

To enhance U-M’s academic mission, an Innovation District would provide a mixed-use region on North Campus, with a focus on research for a diverse array of academic units, and space for interdisciplinary research, startups, industry and governmental partners, retail and other amenities.

New projects for updating and creating facilities also will be identified and explored as the needs of U-M schools and colleges change in the continued pursuit of life-changing education for U-M students.

Geo-exchange and solar

Expanding the use of geo-exchange and solar power will help U-M meet its carbon neutrality goals. Geo-exchange uses the steady temperature of Earth’s subsurface to heat and cool buildings with ground-source heat pumps.

Three campus geo-exchange projects are underway and many more could be developed, along with a greater number of solar-power installations.

Hotel and conference center

An on-campus hotel and conference center would provide a dedicated venue — potentially located on North Campus — where U-M could provide a space for academic convening and hosting major national conferences and other large events.

Optimized transit network

In anticipation of continued university growth, and building on continued efforts to improve campus connectivity, U-M is exploring a transportation concept that will feature a high-efficiency, high-capacity rapid transit bus system and an automated transit system on an elevated guideway.

The network would aim to ensure a more cohesive Ann Arbor campus, improve campus mobility, reduce congestion, and advance carbon neutrality and sustainability efforts. The university expects to share updates on process, technologies and timelines in the coming weeks.

Student housing

The university will continue its effort to increase on-campus housing, including the Central Campus Housing Development currently under construction, with a potential second phase planned.

Campus Plan 2050 is a presidential initiative that is carefully designed to align with Vision 2034, U-M’s recently launched 10-year strategic vision that focuses on four impact areas: Life-Changing Education; Human Health and Well-Being; Democracy, Civic and Global Engagement; and Climate Action, Sustainability, and Environmental Justice.

The yearlong planning process for Campus Plan 2050 included active participation of U-M students, faculty, staff, alumni and other partners.

“The draft plan provides a framework for aligning our objectives for campus planning with the aspirations outlined in Vision 2034 and gives us a long-term roadmap for the future of the Ann Arbor campus,” said Christopher Culley, the other key coordinator for the campus planning effort and associate vice president for planning and strategic initiatives in the Office of the Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer.

“The draft presented today reflects a work in progress. Further development of the plan will be completed this summer, and a final plan will be presented to the campus community at the beginning of the fall semester. It will lay the foundation for many exciting changes in the years to come.”



  1. Robert LaRoe
    on May 15, 2024 at 4:18 pm

    Honest question – is anyone excited about Vision 2034 or the Campus Plan 2050? For me, these are initiatives too far off and too vaguely described to have meaning or garner excitement. I may be in the minority.

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