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When UC Davis was preparing its 2003 Long Range Development Plan, providing local housing opportunities for students, faculty and staff was a key consideration.

Projected enrollment growth, coupled with limited local housing opportunities, challenged the Davis campus's ability to maintain its distinctive college town character within the Davis community, where students, faculty and staff can live locally and participate fully in the life of the campus and community.

Two approaches were considered to address this concern: maintain the status quo, which would increase the number of students, faculty and staff commuting to campus from significant distances. Or create a new campus neighborhood, which would enable the campus to accommodate a portion of the projected growth locally while also providing a variety of facilities and amenities for the campus and the community.

Thus, UC Davis West Village was born. From the outset, it was envisioned as a vibrant addition to the University and Davis communities that would include a mix of uses, multiple transportation options, generous open spaces, recreational opportunities and bikeway connections. It would integrate environmentally-sound design practices as well as educational and social partnerships. And it would meet its own building energy demands, drawing on UC Davis faculty research to apply aggressive energy efficiency strategies that reduce consumption while generating renewable energy on site.

This community has come to life as UC Davis West Village. In fall 2011, 824 students, faculty and staff took up residence at West Village. Los Rios Community College District opened and welcomed 2,400 students for classes in 2012. In fall 2012, another 630 residents took occupancy at West Village and in the fall 2013, the final 156 units were delivered, bringing the total number of residents at West Village to 1,980. Additionally, in 2013, several UC affiliated labs and research centers moved into some of the commercial space at West Village, including the Office of Transportation studies, Energy Efficiency Center, Plug-in hybrid Center, Western Cooling Efficiency Center, and the Center for Water-Energy Efficiency. Future phases will include homes available for rent and purchase by UC Davis Faculty and Staff.

In 2016, UC Davis West Village allowed the ability to double up room occupancy for 624 rooms bringing the maximum number of residents at West Village to 2604.