UC Berkeley released its draft of the 2021 Long Range Development Plan, or LRDP, which outlines how the campus will best utilize land and university facilities for the next 15 years.

The draft provides estimates on the student and faculty population growth from now until the 2036-37 academic year. It also describes the guidelines for how to use campus-owned land and improve transportation and infrastructure around campus.

“An LRDP does not approve specific new buildings or projects,” said campus spokesperson Kyle Gibson in an email. “As future projects are developed within the LRDP framework, they would go through the university’s approval process before any construction begins.”

Gibson added that every UC campus is required to have an LRDP, which is updated periodically.

The 2021 LRDP addresses campus’s new priorities since it was last updated in 1990, according to the draft. These include addressing the housing shortage, making campus more environmentally sustainable and providing spaces for the diverse student body.

In an online forum about the draft Friday, efforts to increase safety for pedestrians and bikers were addressed, noting the possibility of relocating parking to the Campus Park perimeter.

“That will really prioritize … the interior of the Campus Park for pedestrians, bikes and transit while still providing easy parking from the edge of the campus parks,” said Marissa Cheng, senior planner of physical and environmental planning of Capital Strategies, during the online forum.

The 2021 LRDP also estimates that from now until the 2036-37 academic year, the campus will see a less than 1% annual increase to the current campus population, according to Gibson. It also expects an increase of 2,552,000 gross square feet of campus space, 11,730 beds and 1,240 parking spaces.

The 2021 LRDP is anticipated to be adopted at the July UC Regents meeting.

The draft was developed with the help of various community partners, such as the city of Berkeley, Berkeley City College and the ASUC. During the planning process, various ASUC members advocated for students’ concerns about the campus and surrounding area.

ASUC president Victoria Vera noted that the 2021 LRDP often addresses campus concerns over students’ concerns.

“Campus priorities line with making more academic spaces, … providing more recreational space … (and) building more housing,” Vera said, “But often the campus leadership misses the nuances of those conversations. Like sure, we can create more student housing, but is it affordable?”

Vera added that the campus administration needs to make this topic more “digestible” for students so they can provide input. She encouraged students to attend the online events held by the LRDP, as well as to contact the ASUC and LRDP committee members if they have any comments.

Karen Vo is a general assignment reporter. Contact her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @karenvo_DC.

Source Article