MNLA is leading a team to develop a 20-year landscape master plan for Smith College, a private women's liberal arts college in Northampton, Massachusetts.
This master plan will guide the evolution of Smith’s outdoor campus landscape to meet current and future challenges while manifesting the schools values, educational goals and strategic priorities. The landscape master plan will establish an overarching philosophy for the landscape and a mission statement for Smith College for the next two decades with regard to: Inclusivity, Education, and Adaptation.
The landscape master plan process has three distinct phases: Discovery, Vision and Master Plan. Discovery was focused on exploration of the campus through both site analysis and community engagement. Currently in the Vision phase, MNLA suggests a variety of alternatives for the future of the campus landscape, allows the community to visualize different possibilities, and share their perspectives. The Vision phase tests the community’s priorities and appetite for recalibrating the relationship between humans and their environment by providing a scalar spectrum of potential modifications to the Smith campus, ranging from a “light” to “intermediate” to “intensive” touch on the landscape. The Master Plan phase will carry these priorities forward to specific recommendations for the campus.
MNLA has provided opportunities for the Smith community to express their thoughts during each step in this process through robust on-campus engagement sessions, interactive student projects, and Groundswell Magazine, an innovative online resource designed and implemented by MNLA. It has been used to both inform the faculty, staff, students, and alumnae of the project development and to collect their feedback and comments.
Following campus-wide review of the Master Plan, several pilot projects will be developed to a detailed level and will be included in the final master plan along with long-term management and material guidelines. Final Master Plan is anticipated to be completed in Fall 2020.