The Dynamic Decade

Creating the Sustainable Campus for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2001-2011

By David R. Godschalk, Jonathan B. Howes

184 pp., 8.5 x 11, 37 color plates., 4 halftones, 28 maps, 8 graphs, 4 tables

  • Paperback ISBN: 978-1-4696-0725-2
    Published: September 2012
  • eBook ISBN: 978-1-4696-0726-9
    Published: September 2012

Buy this Book

To purchase online via an independent bookstore, visit

Distributed for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

The Dynamic Decade tells the story of the sweeping makeover of the 200-year-old campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Six million square feet of buildings were constructed and a million square feet of historic buildings were renovated during one vibrant ten-year period. This massive growth required bold thinking and a vision for combining historic preservation, green building, and long-range development. A statewide bond issue, award-winning designs, and unprecedented coordination between town and university made the vision a reality.

Written by authors who held major planning roles, supplemented by interviews of key players, and lavishly illustrated with color photographs and maps, this comprehensive account offers valuable lessons to all concerned with sustainable university growth.

About the Authors

David R. Godschalk is Stephen Baxter Professor Emeritus in the Department of City and Regional Planning at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. He chaired the Chancellor’s Buildings and Grounds Committee and the Design and Operations Team for the 2001 Campus Master Plan.
For more information about David R. Godschalk, visit the Author Page.

Jonathan B. Howes chaired the Executive Steering Team of the 2001 Campus Master Plan and was co-convener of the first steering committee for the Horace Williams tract. He has served as director of the UNC Center for Urban and Regional Studies.
For more information about Jonathan B. Howes, visit the Author Page.


“Full of photos and maps that show the intent and execution of a vast remake of parts of the campus.”--Carolina Alumni Review

"Chronicle[s] in considerable detail how the university achieved a larger, more populous, and denser campus despite being one of the few universities in the nation entirely subject to municipal planning--meaning that the municipality normally approves every singe project. . . . The authors provide extensive detail about the campus planning process and its implementation."--Journal of the American Planning Association

“A deep and engaging, but not excessively exhaustive (and exhausting) case study.”--Journal of Planning Education and Research

"We express our values in what we build. We express our values in how we build. I like to think that the build out of the UNC campus during this dynamic decade truly expresses the values of this great University, that in these buildings and in the spaces that hold them, we find truth and integrity. Lux. Libertas."--James Moeser, Chancellor Emeritus, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, from the Foreword

"As the person who succeeded Chancellor James Moeser, I am extremely grateful for all that was accomplished in what the authors of this book have described as "the Dynamic Decade." The transformation of the UNC campus made possible by a carefully designed master plan, a strategically achieved development plan, a politically charged bond referendum, and an ambitiously imagined fundraising initiative was at its height when I moved into the Chancellor's office."--Holden Thorp, Chancellor, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, from the Afterword