The Environment

Baskin Engineering Two

"To a greater extent than any of us have faced heretofore, the buildings are less important in the visual composition than the trees. Instead of remaking the land, the land must remake our standard conceptions of building a plaza and parking lot."

Thomas Church, LRDP 1963

The Santa Cruz Campus

The 2,030 acres of the University of California, Santa Cruz are home to a univeristy campus unlike any other. Beginning with the selection of the Cowell Ranch site as the home of a new University of Calfornia campus in March 1961, the major challenge of UCSC's continuing planning enterprise has been to balance the requirements of a dynamic public research university with the preservation of its redwood forests, sweeping meadows, deep ravines, and expansive views of Monterey Bay.

Recognizing the extraordinary character of this piece of land, The Regents and UCSC's founders pledged to respect it, and preserve it "as much as possible." Their 1963 Long Range Development Plan established a planning framework that created the remarkable UC Santa Cruz campus and has guided its physical development ever since. Written to support an innovative academic program,  UCSC's founding document succinctly stated its goal and each day we strive to fulfill the vision:

It is the purpose of the Long Range Development Plan to translate the Academic plan into terms of physical reality and establish guidelines for the continuing development of the Santa Cruz campus. It is recognized that the plan must be flexible, so that possible changes in the educational concept and other presently unforeseeable factors can be accommodated, if need be. At the same time, it is believed that the campus must from its start, make a bold statement.