September 12, 2018

Wayne State University: A look into the future


Help shape WSU's future - complete the interactive mapping survey.

Time travel may conjure up scenes from a sci-fi flick or perhaps a novel, such as H.G. Wells’ The Time Machine.

For stakeholders throughout the Wayne State University community, however, time travel has become a reality with the recent launch of a yearlong master planning effort exploring the next 20 years of the university’s physical and spatial development.

The new master plan will ultimately create a framework to guide decision-making involving the physical campus over the next two decades and beyond.

“Wayne State University’s campus and the surrounding Midtown neighborhoods have experienced remarkable physical changes since the adoption of the previous master plan in 2001,” said Ashley S. Flintoff, director of planning and space management, Facilities Planning and Management. “The new master plan will be formulated with an eye toward addressing not only the current transformations, but casting a vision beyond to meet future needs on campus and in our Midtown community.”

Flintoff stressed that the master plan will reinforce the Distinctively Wayne State strategic plan’s vision of Wayne State, which is articulated as a “pre-eminent, public, urban research university known for academic and research excellence, success across a diverse student body, and meaningful engagement in its urban community.”

The comprehensive master plan will examine several areas including:

  • Analysis of the condition and suitability of Wayne State’s current building inventory
  • Optimizing the use of space
  • Enhancing the experience of the university’s diverse student population
  • Planning around issues of sustainability, resilience, urban design, land use, transportation and parking.
  • Providing a means for the university to strengthen its relationship with the broader Midtown community of businesses, residents, neighborhood organizations and other anchor institutions

Stakeholders and community members — including students, faculty and staff, and representatives of several Detroit communities — will be called upon to offer ideas and expertise. Venues will include focus groups, town halls, advisory committees, social media and a website (

Additionally, an interactive mapping survey will launch in the coming weeks to allow students, faculty, staff and other stakeholders the opportunity to provide input on how they interact with campus and the surrounding neighborhoods. The survey can be accessed at

Flintoff and her team will lead the planning process along with DumontJanks, a campus planning and design firm. The master planning team also includes Ghafari Associates, Lord Aeck Sargent, Gorove/Slade Associates, Lauren Hood and Gage Cartographics.

If you are interested in participating in this process, or have specific questions or comments, please email