Its role as a communiversity – an interface between college and community – is to connect UA faculty members and students with county, city, business, and community leaders to address environmental and social needs. It also serves as a forum to advance a vibrant downtown economy and culture where academic, civic, cultural, and business leaders can meet to discuss sustainability scenarios for the future of Tucson and Southern Arizona.
Areas of study and research are rooted in the needs of downtown Tucson and represent various University units. The College of Architecture Planning, and Landscape Architecture (CAPLA) programs at UA Downtown include an interdisciplinary Urban Design Studio (Architecture, Landscape Architecture and Planning), the Drachman Institute (CAPLA’s community research-outreach arm), Heritage Conservation, and Sustainable Real Estate Development. The College of Social and Behavioral Sciences (SBS) programs include the Master of Public Administration (MPA) from the School of Government and Public Policy (SGPP). The School of Geography and Development will offer a Master’s in Development Practice (MDP), and their Master’s of Geographic Information Systems Technology (GIST) students will conduct outreach research projects. UA Downtown also features linkage and access to the UA’s library resources provided by the University Libraries and a retail store operated by the UA BookStores.
UA Downtown is located in the Roy Place Building, named after one of Tucson’s most influential architects of the early 20th century. Originally built in 1929 as a Montgomery Ward department store, Roy Place’s architectural offices were housed on the second floor, where he designed several Tucson landmarks, including the iconic Pima County Courthouse. He is also the designer of more than 20 buildings on the UA campus such as the Arizona State Museum, Centennial Hall and Steward Observatory.
Downtown Tucson and the University of Arizona have long shared a common history. Now, through the vision and programs of UA Downtown, the University of Arizona will do its part in revitalizing and developing a sustainable downtown Tucson.