Strategic campus development in a 10 year perspective: two cases. Challenges, visions, strategies and development 2007 – 2017

Activity: Talk or presentationTalk or presentation at a conference


In June 2007 the “Competitive Campuses – The Challenge for European Universities” conference was arranged in Trondheim, Norway NTNU in conjunction with ETH Zürich and Sasaki Associates in Boston. The main focus was on the revitalization of the mono-functional campuses to new concepts that stimulate interaction and integration with the city. At that time two contradictory trends emerged: on the one hand the trend to create campus projects that reconcile and reintegrate large-scale institutions with the surrounding urban tissue into open, communicative structures, and on the other hand towards “gated-ness”, the increasing seclusion under the influence of efficiency, economy and social security.

During the 2007 conference a group of 16 international experts addressed questions such as: ‘What kind of spatial organization promotes internal knowledge transfer and social interaction while simultaneously integrating with the surrounding urban environment? Which strategies are needed to create sustainable centres of knowledge that are flexible enough to respond to the fast changing demands of industry and society?’

This study investigates if the trends, major questions and the understanding of these challenges for campus development of European universities are relevant ten years later, and how these challenges and opportunities are used in urban and campus planning. Our main focus will be on strategic campus development. This is based on a view that buildings can be seen as functional frameworks for human activity, and thus, that ideas about university space should be reconsidered as activities and demands on performance changes (den Heijer 2011, Beckers et al., 2015). The landscape of learning, teaching and knowledge development is currently moving into new forms altering the needs for working spaces.

The comparative study of the two universities in the Netherlands and Norway will be descriptive cases, and they both represent institutions having gone through major changes for campus development and management over the last 10 years.
For analysing the case studies we have used a simplified theoretical framework addressing; challenges and opportunities, vision and main objectives, strategic aims and target goals and how these factors are implemented in real projects. The expected outcome will include analyses of how strategic goals and aims for the two institutions align with actual campus development projects and management in large and smaller scale.
Period28 Jun 2018
Held atNorwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Norway
Degree of RecognitionInternational


  • Envolving learning environments
  • Campus planning and development
  • Corporate real estate management