Verdant Temple experimental project near end, final plan released

“The New Green” is the planned quad at Temple University that will come as a result of the Verdant Temple project. (Photo Credit: Philadelphia Magazine and LRSLA Studio, Inc.)
“The New Green” is the planned quad at Temple University that will come as a result of the Verdant Temple project. (Photo Credit: Philadelphia Magazine and LRSLA Studio, Inc.)

WRITTEN BY: DALTON BALTHASER

Temple University has announced details of its master plan, Verdant Temple, which displays the university’s strategy on how they plan to use the open spaces, streets and walkways, as well as lighting and other components that are important to the Temple University experience.

The plan, which was developed in relation to Visualize Temple, establishes guidelines for these campus-wide scenic projects.

In a press release regarding the plans of Verdant Temple, President Neil Theobald emphasized his high hopes for the project.

“The landscape of a campus is critical in creating first impressions and lasting memories,” Theobald said. “Verdant Temple uses the university’s rich history and dynamic urban environment to create a more cohesive identity for Main Campus.”

The plan will concentrate on five specific parts: green, which emphasizes the need for additional open space, including a central lawn; the importance of pedestrian walks, especially Liacouras and Polett walkways; the value of campus gardens and courts that comprise public spaces; the use of streets in an urban campus; and how to use leftover spaces.

Among the many recommendations for this project, two stand out. Verdant Temple recommends the creation of more consistent lighted pathways campus-wide, improving the pedestrian experience and beauty of campus while improving safety. With many robberies of and attacks on Temple students recently, this improvement is vital.

The plan also recommends the establishment of gateways to announce and define the university. This will help visitors understand where buildings and areas of significance are on campus as well as making it appealing to future students who won’t be experts initially on the layout of campus and make them feel comfortable.

Max Buchdahl, a sophomore journalism major, said that the constant construction has frustrated some students. However, he acknowledges a little bit of noise along 13th Street will be worth it in the end for the university.

“It is hard to look into the future to see the completion of this project,” Buchdahl said. “I think that when we come back as alumni and see all of the improvements, we will look back at the inconvenience of the construction and realize that it was all worth it.”

Sophomore, journalism major Alex Mednick says that the green social spaces will bring a benefit to the social realm in the Temple community.

“I think the [green spaces] will help campus life and make the students here a little more social,” Mednick said. “There are not a lot of places for students to freely socialize. Since Temple students tend to be a little antisocial this would definitely help.”

Buchdahl said that Verdant Temple would help open people’s minds to the beauty of an urban university.

“I think the criticisms that people have about Temple are based on the lack of green space,” Buchdahl said. “Having that green space will be visually appealing, and that would certainly help prospective students and the community as well.”

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