University of Florida, Innovation Square Vision Plan
Size: 60 acres
2012, Donald E. Hunter Excellence in Economic Development Planning Award, American Planning Association.
2012 Award of Merit, Planning Category, Florida APA.
2012, Honor Award, Planning & Analysis Category, Florida ASLA.
2012, Out of the Box Award, Florida Redevelopment Association.
2012, President’s Award, Florida Redevelopment Association.
Innovation Square is an award-winning urban redevelopment project that transforms 12 underutilized blocks in Gainesville, Florida into a walkable urban research district that capitalizes on the entrepreneurial energy of the University of Florida. For decades, an aging hospital and its surface parking lots created a gulf between the University and the revitalized downtown area. Working with the University, the Gainesville Community Redevelopment Agency, Shands Healthcare, the City of Gainesville, private development groups, and diverse stakeholders, Perkins+Will created a long term Development Plan that projects future building programs with a flexible urban framework. This is an on-going relationship with the research park and broader community, including work for the local utilities providers, the University, the Redevelopment Agency, the City, private developers among others. This is a truly comprehensive and collaborative platform for long-term management and growth of the district.
At the heart of Innovation Square, a pedestrian-friendly greenway connects the community, promotes creative collision and sustainability. This walkable, high-density district is already attracting researchers, students, and start-ups with lively spaces to live, work, play and collaborate. Guiding principles include developing a sustainable district that fits within a integrated urban fabric; creating environments that foster forward looking, innovative, and interdisciplinary research and discovery; developing a more compact higher density district; establishing better connectivity with the neighboring communities; creating a safe, connected, pedestrian friendly environment; and mixing of uses such as retail, research, housing, and hospitability. The central feature within the district is the green street, a passive gathering space within the district that also serves a vital green infrastructure connection.