Stanford gathers feedback for White Plaza redesign as Long-Range Planning continues

Town Hall held to solicit ideas

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The Stanford Town Center Project’s design team aims to “reimagine the region around White Plaza as the heartbeat of the University,” said project lead and Associate Vice President for Campus Engagement Matthew Tiews. To work toward that goal, Tiews held a town hall meeting at Tresidder Oak Lounge on Wednesday evening to gather feedback for the project.

The design team is planning to implement the project over the next 10 to 20 years.

“We’re mostly thinking long term about this,” Tiews said. “By next year, we will have a sense of what options can we pursue, some possibilities about timing and phasing, and how we might actually look forward,” Tiews told the audience before dividing them into four groups.

University Architect David Lenox is also a member of the Town Center Project design team, which is collaborating with Land, Buildings and Real Estate to plan the project’s execution.

The team has identified four broad program areas that each group was asked to focus on: exchange of ideas; social life, food and culture; group spaces; and retail, services and support. The groups came up with several ideas, but one demand that found resonance among attendees was that of an outdoor movie screen. Another common idea was an affordable marketplace. Some other proposals were an outdoor space for people to gather and express their views, a multi-purpose venue like Serpentine in London and a centralized drop-off and pick-up location for rideshare services.

Faculty, staff, alumni and students attended the event, including ASSU President Shanta Katipamula. Students however, were largely outnumbered by faculty and staff.

The event kick-started the team’s planning phase, which will last one year. For the first six months, they will go around and take feedback from various stakeholders, including student groups, faculty and staff. Wednesday’s town hall was a part of that process. For the remaining six months, the team will incorporate the ideas into a concrete plan.

Contact Devansh Sharma at devansh ‘at’ stanford.edu.

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