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The university in the parking lot

(01/16/23 5:00am)

Duke has long branded itself “the university in the forest.” But new developments proposed in the Duke 2024 Master Plan shatter this illusion. Graduate housing behind the Fuqua School of Business, an additional quad behind Edens, and a major expansion of the Duke Medical Center are just a few of the projects outlined in the plan. Collectively, these new additions would result in a loss of 11 acres of tree cover on campus, degrading both ecological and human health. The unchecked growth of the campus’ physical footprint contradicts with the Duke Climate Commitment, where university leaders pledged to “imagine, design and implement a sustainable future for all.” If Duke truly wants to be a leader in addressing climate change, then the university must align its actions with its words.