Innovation Square University of Florida
Innovation Square is an urban redevelopment project that seeks to transform twelve underutilized blocks in Gainesville into a mixed-use urban research neighborhood that advances the national and global profile of the city’s largest employer, the University of Florida (UF) with its medical center, Shands Healthcare at UF, and the growing local biotech industry. A long term vision plan was created for the former Alachua County General Hospital and surrounding commercial properties.
Working with the Community Redevelopment Agency, Shands Healthcare, private development groups, and other various stakeholders, this vision plan addressed the various physical conditions of the site and the future building program. Innovation Square aligns the goals of all the stakeholders to create a livable, walkable, adaptable and sustainable urban research district. At the heart of Innovation Square, the “green street” creates a pedestrian-friendly gathering space that connects the entire community, promoting sustainability as central to the urban fabric. The greenway also addresses a significant stormwater initiative within the district allowing stormwater to be addressed before entering the underground system with varying integrated water quality and quantity mitigation initiatives.
The utility infrastructure master plan included organization and planning for distribution of water, sewer, normal power, emergency power, and communications, heating and cooling on a district basis. The planning evaluated the requirements for these services for the anticipated academic, research laboratories, office, hospitality, residential and retail uses. The planning also addressed phasing of the systems and access for maintenance and service.