The traditional perimeter between an academic institution and its surrounding urban environment is no longer a defined line, but a blurred edge. As colleges shift from being introverted environments to becoming more integrated within their surrounding communities—urban, suburban, or rural settings—the synergistic relationship between a college and its locals can lead to healthy economies with more engaged members of society.
For both to flourish—as opposed to merely survive—they must work together in a symbiotic way.
The development of housing, mixed-use, academic, entrepreneurial, and research environments, both on and off campus, helps blur those boundaries. Every campus has different financial needs, strategic partnerships, neighborhood contexts, university administrations and municipal leadership. Therefore, the means to developing a more robust town-and-gown relationship is unique to each institution.