Join our email list to get the latest news and updates about the West Campus District Plan.

Click to Join

West Campus District Plan

UW-Madison’s west campus is home to robust research enterprises, hospitals, recreation, and academic activities. With a world class hospital, diverse community and beautiful natural areas, the potential exists to make this space even more valuable and vibrant.   Our vision will assist people to expand their livelihoods, create new career pathways, and design new solutions to important problems facing our community and the world.

In summer 2022, UW-Madison, in partnership with University Research Park, began a planning process to reimagine and redesign the west campus. Development and implementation of this “West Campus District Plan” will take place over the next 30 years to improve research, teaching, learning, healthcare, industry and community connections.

This is the first project using the real estate revenue strategy as an effort to create additional opportunities to support the university’s mission. Ideas and input from community members will be vital to reimagining this place and we look forward to collaborating with you along the way!

Visit our Frequently Asked Question section for additional answers about the district plan and current concept designs.

Current Design Concept

This plan is long-range (30+ years) and envisions multiple delivery models spanning multiple decades. There is flexibility built into the plan to accommodate and adapt to changing needs of the university and surrounding community.

Learn more about the plan here.

Concept Maps

Defining West Campus

Aerial view of UW-Madison's west campus, with a portion selected to demonstrated location of new innovation district.

West Campus is defined as the area of campus bounded by Willow Creek on the east, University Hospital/Highland Avenue on the west, Campus Drive on the south, and Lake Mendota/Far West Fields on the north. This area is approximately 127 acres.

Large, anchor facilities and spaces in the West Campus District include:

  • Schools and colleges: School of Medicine and Public Health, School of Nursing, School of Pharmacy, and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
  • Three hospitals: University Hospital, Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital, and American Family Children’s Hospital
  • Federal agencies: Forest Products Lab and Cereal Crops Research
  • Utility infrastructure: West Campus CoGen Facility and the Walnut Street Plant
  • Athletics: McClimon Track/Soccer Complex
  • Recreation: Near West Fields
  • Outdoor spaces: Lakeshore Nature Preserve and Willow Creek

Stakeholder Engagement

The project team held over 150 stakeholder meetings and 7 open houses with over 500 attendees since the summer of 2022 to gather feedback about the different needs, existing priorities, and most important elements to address for west campus users.

The different stakeholders include

  • UW-Madison or Affiliate: 70+ meetings
  • City/State/Federal Partners: 10+ meetings
  • Neighborhood/Public Open Houses: 15+ events
  • Private Industry: 5+ meetings

If you belong to a group or organization that would like to hear more about the concept designs with the west campus project, please contact

Project Aspirations


Create a compelling and actionable vision for identified UW-Madison land that energizes the Board of Regents and other internal and external stakeholders.


Develop a place for learning, research, innovation, community engagement, and economic development that meaningfully contributes to the city, region, and state.


Ensure the vision and strategy can be monetized for the university’s benefit, while advancing mission-aligned institutional goals in teaching, research, and outreach.

Join Our Email List

Get updates about the West Campus District plan by signing up for our email list. Emails will include timely updates and requests for project feedback. Frequency of emails may vary depending on project status.

Get Updates

The West Campus District Plan will be informed by the Revenue Innovations principles. This includes supporting the University’s desire to enhance and promote diversity, equity, inclusion, and healthy communities, and honoring our relationships with sovereign Native Nations.

As a part of the UW-Madison campus, the West Campus District occupies ancestral Ho-Chunk land, a place their nation has called Teejop (day-JOPE) since time immemorial.  The lands to the north of the West Campus District are part of the 300-acre Lakeshore Nature Preserve and are managed to respect the historical and cultural significance of the area as well as serve as a living laboratory for teaching and research needs of campus along with offering a nature experience for campus and community members.

The West Campus District Plan, as with all campus planning efforts, presents both an opportunity to celebrate the Ho-Chunk people and to identify and advance opportunities to create a better future together, in ways that positively impact student well-being, placemaking, and research.

In partnership with University Relations, we are working to strengthen our relationship with the Ho-Chunk Nation. Tribal Relations works to establish long-term relationships for mutual benefit with the 12 Native Nations of Wisconsin.

The West Campus District Plan aims to improve accessibility, livability, and resilience by developing the landscape in concert with ecology, current use needs, and its cultural history – a community resource intentionally planned to recognize generations past, developed for generations, now and in the future.

From implementing green infrastructure and considering potential improvements to Willow Creek to expanding a biodiverse tree canopy and addressing stormwater management and water quality, West Campus can be a model for sustainable development at UW–Madison. An inspiring place for all to connect and be connected within a lakeside setting.

This plan is also being developed in concert with the robust and actionable campuswide sustainability goals. UW-Madison recently launched ambitious new sustainability goals including:

  • The launch of the Sustainability Research Hub spring 2024
  • Procuring 100% renewable energy by 2030 and achieving net-zero emissions by 2048 or sooner
  • Ensuring all interested students have access to sustainability educational experiences by 2030
  • Achieving a Zero Waste campus by 2040
  • Achieving STARS Gold by 2025

The West Campus District Plan will consider opportunities for affordable and market-rate housing. Madison is one of the fastest-growing metropolitan areas in the Midwest, and the local population has grown significantly in the last decade. The large population growth rate creates an opportunity to provide housing on the west side of campus. 

People who work, study, live near, and visit the west side of UW-Madison’s campus tend to come from farther distances and have travel needs that cannot be accommodated by transit. A study found that more than 60% of faculty and staff live more than six miles from campus. For UW Health employees, this increases to 75%. Many people drive to West Campus using personal vehicles, placing a burden on the surrounding road network and parking options in the area. 

The West Campus District Plan will study travel patterns into and within the west side of campus to propose opportunities for improved access via personal vehicle, biking, walking, and transit. The plan will also consider strategies to increase the number of parking spaces.

Project Partners

This is an accordion element with a series of buttons that open and close related content panels.

University Research Park

In October 2021, the UW Board of Regents approved a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the Board of Regents and University Research Park (URP) to leverage UW-Madison’s real estate assets to their highest and best use in support of the university’s academic, research, and outreach mission.

UW-Madison has a well-established partnership with URP, whose purpose is to acquire and develop real estate property for the benefit of the University. URP has developed approximately one million square feet of commercial and research space and another million square feet of ground leases. URP plays a significant role in supporting industry growth in Madison and provides space for startups affiliated with UW-based research.

Consultant Team

In July 2022, UW-Madison and University Research Park selected Perkins & Will to lead the consultant team for the West Campus District Plan.

Other consultants on the project include:

In the initial phase of the project, the team conducted a series of interviews with campus stakeholders, benchmarking visits to peer institutions, and studies of the land area and existing facilities within the project scope.

These initial findings and observations from the Discovery Phase are summarized on this page. Click the following link to review the full Discovery Document. 

Read Full Report

District Advisory Committee

The DAC is comprised of significant stakeholders and campus leaders in district. They will be engaged by Core Team and selected design firm to provide feedback once per project phase on overall district plan development direction and to make recommendations to Core Team.

UW-Madison Representatives

  • Deans and/or delegates located in the district
    • Robert Golden – Dean for the School of Medicine and Public Health
    • John Audhya – Senior Associate Dean for Basic Research, Biotechnology, and Graduate Studies
    • Dundee McNair – Associate Dean for Administrative Affairs, School of Nursing
    • Mark Markel – Dean for the School of Veterinary Medicine
    • Kristi Thorson – Associate Dean for Advancement & Administration, School of Veterinary Medicine
    • Mel de Villiers – Vice Dean, Associate Dean for Administrative Affairs, School of Pharmacy
    • Glenda Gillaspy – Dean for CALS
    • Mark Rickenbach – Associate Dean for CALS
  • Jeff Novak – Director of University Housing
  • Aaron Hobson – Director of University Recreation & Wellbeing
  • Jason King – Senior Associate Athletic Director for Capital Projects
  • Margaret Tennessen – Deputy Associate Vice Chancellor for Facilities Planning & Management
  • Mark Guthier – Director of the Wisconsin Union
  • Gabe Mendez – Director of Transportation Operations
  • Chris Kozina – Assistant Vice Chancellor, Industry Engagement, University Relations
  • Ben Miller – Assistant Vice Chancellor for Government Affairs and Strategic Partnerships, University Relations
  • Omar Poler – American Indian Curriculum Services Coordinator and Native Nations Representative
  • Norman Drinkwater – Emeritus Professor (SMPH)
  • Qiang Chang, PhD – Director of the Waisman Center
  • Todd Shechter – Chief Technology Officer, DoIT
  • Captain Jason Whitney – Planning & Development Captain for UW Police Department

Campus Affiliates and External Stakeholder Representatives

  • Mike McKay – Director of Planning, Design & Construction for UW Health
  • Erik Iverson – Chief Executive Officer, WARF
  • John Gransee – Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer, WARF
  • Mike Wagner – Investment Director, WARF
  • Sharon Eveland – Village Administrator for Shorewood Hills
  • Christine Kleckner – Associate Director, VA Hosiptal
  • Jonathan Bucy – Chief Engineer, VA Hosiptal
  • Matt Mikolajewski – Economic Development, City of Madison
  • Mary Czynszak-Lyne – Regent Neighborhood Associate Representative
  • Scott Smith – Vice President, Business and Regulatory Strategy, MG&E
  • Jillian Page – Manager of Business Customer Relations, MG&E
  • Tracy Tophooven – Deputy Director, Forest Products Laboratory and Northern Research Station for the USDA


This is an accordion element with a series of buttons that open and close related content panels.

What is a district plan?

Much like the campus master plan, a district plan serves as a tool to establish a continuing framework to guide growth and development of a specific portion of campus, while protecting and enhancing important open spaces as well as historic and cultural landscapes. A district plan, as with all campus planning activities, is informed by the 2015 campus master plan and will inform future master plans. 

Could this plan expand beyond the currently established border?

The West Campus District Plan is being developed with consideration of the existing Campus Master Plan. Areas beyond the current scope of the West Campus District Plan may be considered if they complement the greater university mission. Any consideration of expanding the current border would be driven by opportunities to accelerate or amplify the campus mission, would include extensive stakeholder engagement, would be informed by Revenue Innovation Study Group’s 2019 guiding principles, and would consider broader societal, cultural, and historical implications.  

As with all planning exercises, some areas within the boundaries of the district plan scope may not be redeveloped. The project team considers the activities that currently occur within the district and how they might be impacted by future development.  For example, the activity within University Hospital and American Family Children’s Hospital is important to understand and will inform development within the district. However, just because the hospitals are within the boundaries of the district scope does not mean that they are being considered for redevelopment.

When could we start seeing physical changes in this district?

UW-Madison will deliver the West Campus District Plan to the Universities of Wisconsin Board of Regents in the future for review. The finalized plan will provide a vision for development of the west side of campus with phased development over roughly a 30-year period. Sites that have previously been identified for deconstruction or development are likely the first spaces where physical changes will be seen in the district.

What kind of changes may be suggested as a part of this plan?

The West Campus District aspires to be a place for learning, research, innovation, community engagement, and economic development that meaningfully contributes to the city, region, and state.  

There is a known need for additional research space on campus, and the proximity of the district to the health sciences schools and colleges provides an opportunity to increase the number of clinical and research spaces.  

We know and have heard from stakeholders in the West District that housing is of great need for our students, for our recruitment and retention efforts, and the broader community of Madison. UW-Madison remains committed to addressing student housing needs, through growth in our residence hall capacity, in partnership with our colleagues at Wisconsin Department of Administration.  

In partnership with University Research Park (URP), the campus is also looking at opportunities where district development could bring additional housing to the Madison market.  

The plan will also consider additional services and amenities for students, employees, hospital guests, and the community who spend much of their time there. These include childcare, food and beverage, and retail services. The design team will pay particular attention to the natural environment and sustainable “placemaking” strategies that can continue to recruit and retain top talent in our community.  

Who will make the final decision on what changes are ultimately implemented?

Stakeholder perspectives shared throughout the process have been incorporated into the district plan. Chancellor Mnookin, advised by shared governance groups such as Campus Planning Committee, will bring these recommendations to the UW Board of Regents who then review and approve the final plan. This reflects the process that the 2015 campus master plan and other capital projects follow. 

The concept shows development on buildings where there is current programming or activity. What will happen to the programs and activity in the buildings that occupy the parcels where new development is shown?

Any development envisioned throughout the planning process and in the final plan will first require and be preceded by the identification of, and in some cases the development of new, appropriate locations or spaces for existing building uses or occupants. Development may involve partnership between the University, district stakeholders, URP, industry, and private developers. 

With the track moving to Lot 60, will there be new affordable parking available?

We understand the importance of Lot 60 as an affordable parking option and will continue to keep affordability and accessibility in this project. 

Transportation services offers reduced cost permits in any parking lot where annual base lot permits are available. There are additional options for low-cost commuting such as UW park and ride, carpool, vanpool and biking.  

Any future redevelopment of Lot 60 is anticipated to happen in a later phase of development. Adequate parking options will be provided before that time.  

How are parking and mobility concerns being incorporated into this planning?

UW-Madison currently has one of the leading alternative transportation programs in the country and will continue to use these strategies as we continue to develop the west campus plans.

Parking and mobility are a critical focus of our planning and analysis process, especially as we look at options that may further densify the district. We are working with UW-Madison Transportation Services and the transportation consultancy firm, Nelson & Nygaard, to ensure parking and mobility are incorporated into all options.

Part of the mobility strategy will be informed by engagement with the City of Madison and other key stakeholders. This includes the city’s bus rapid transit initiative, which started in winter of 2022 and will likely continue through 2024. The west campus district will have a stop near its southwestern edge.

How will The Lakeshore Nature Preserve be protected within the plan?

The Lakeshore Nature Preserve is protected from development per the Campus Master Plan, but the project team seeks to increase usability, celebrate our lakeside setting while reducing our impacts on land and water, and protect the long-term sustainability of the Preserve. We are working with the Lakeshore Nature Preserve and partners to understand their priorities and identify potential opportunities for collaboration. The green spaces on West Campus will support the broader campus open space framework included as part of the campus master plan.

Contact Us

Have a specific question or want to provide feedback? Email us at One of the Core Team members will respond to your message as soon as possible.