An Institutional Impact District is an area that is not part of a campus, but it is the residential neighborhood adjacent to the “Eds and Meds” (education and medical institutions). Typically, these are established neighborhoods that predate the grounds of the institution. These neighborhoods are walkable, tied to transit hubs, and contain a mix of workplaces and residential buildings.
Colleges bring students, professors, and facility staff who wish to live off campus, yet nearby. Hospitals also introduce working staff to a neighborhood with medical or nursing schools filled with people who will impact the surrounding neighborhoods. Both “eds and meds” increasingly have an impact on housing and parking demands in adjacent neighborhoods. These areas are desirable for students and staff, providing a place to live that is within walking distance to their institution and also provide their daily needs. The challenges this creates includes heavily concentrated parking, an incredibly long and active day, and overcrowding or increased rental costs pushing away homeowners that would otherwise provide stability to an ever-changing neighborhood.
In some Institutional Impact Districts, the institution provides the first positive wave of investment for the neighborhood in decades, while in others, the impact disrupts an existing, stable, established residential neighborhood.
The “Right-Sized” Approach recognizes the range of effects institutional impacts can have on neighborhoods, and works to ensure neighborhoods experience the benefits of institutional impact districts, for both existing residents and newly evolving communities.