As a project that was gifted to the University of Rhode Island by the Interfraternity Alumni Council, Union Studio was hired to assist URI with master planning the Fraternity Circle neighborhood on their Kingston Campus. We led an on-campus charrette workshop with multiple stakeholders to examine parking, pedestrian connectivity, and neighborhood identity in this unique neighborhood of 11 fraternities. The result was a master plan that addressed the challenges raised by various participants: issues of vehicle circulation, parking, quality of the pedestrian network, a sense of identity / arrival, student safety and emergency communication, public and private space, services, infrastructure / utilities, and future growth, as well as a desire for a greater sense of community. Overall, the design of the master plan focuses on creating a pleasant, safe, and cohesive neighborhood for its residents, the university, and visitors. It presents solutions for the existing issues on site and an exciting vision for the future of the Greek community at URI. Key recommendations include utility improvements, low-impact storm water management, and reorganized streets and pedestrian network. A contiguous and robust pedestrian network helps define key public and private realms. The redistribution and improved organization of parking will help create a true neighborhood street network and balance of parking on the site. In addition to the master plan, Union Studio also created a set of Design Guidelines for Fraternity Circle that will help to shape future development in the campus neighborhood.
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