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Planning Principles


This section of the plan outlines the planning principles and defines the character of the South Dakota State campus per its physical elements. The planning principles provide guidance for the transition of the physical development of the campus. These principles create a framework that promotes an efficient, sustainable and pedestrian-friendly environment through land use, circulation and parking, gateways and community connections, accessibility, utilities and infrastructure, and architectural considerations.


The character of the South Dakota State University campus is defined by the numerous physical elements that combine to shape the campus environment, including buildings, roads, parking lots, pedestrian corridors and open space. The organization of these elements significantly impacts the perception of the campus environment and the image of the University. The 2025 Facility Master Plan re-emphasized the creation of a campus framework that:

  • Celebrates the university's land-grant mission and heritage
  • Promotes a partnership with the city of Brookings
  • Sets a standard for the quality of spaces within the campus to enrich students' academic and campus-life experience and engenders respect for the physical environment
  • Enhances a unique identity
  • Creates a user-friendly campus that is welcoming, easily navigable, and accommodating for visitors, students, faculty and staff
  • Establishes an environment that nurtures interaction and communication.

The recommendations outlined in each of the following planning principle subsections provide guidance for the development of a campus environment that aligns with the campus framework described above in an efficient, sustainable and pedestrian-safe manner.