California Institute of Technology Master Plan

Pasadena, California, U.S.A.

Project Facts

  • Founded in 1891, California Institute of Technology resides on a 123-acre campus in urban Pasadena, California. Over the past century, the campus has expanded beyond the bounds of its original master plan.
  • The existing campus landscape is composed of 20% buildings, 32% paved surfaces, 22% lawn, and 26% planting areas.
  • Approximately 52% of Caltech’s Campus is currently covered with impervious surfaces, which rain water cannot penetrate. As a result, a significant amount of this water runs off into city drains, carrying with it pollution and flood risk. 
  • The campus master plan proposes that 32% of high-maintenance lawn space be converted to native planting areas. Some lawn space is maintained for formal ceremonies, recreational space, and casual use.
  • The sustainable master plan has already been used to inform the design of several new classroom buildings.


  • Urban
  • Development Plan
  • University
  • Campus

Environmental Benefits

  • Conserves Water
  • Creates Habitat for Wildlife
  • Improves Walkability
  • Restores Biodiversity
  • Reintroduces Native Plants