The MVVA master plan identified Alumnae Valley as the major missing link in the system of valleys; concurrently, academic leaders noted the potential for engaging the landscape in the curricula.
MVVA's 2008 concept plan is based on the recognition that this is a nationally important historic landscape whose greatest strength is that it has managed to preserve its core identity as the centerpiece of one of the oldest educational institutions on the West Coast while evolving to meet the university's changing needs.
The goals of the project included strengthening pedestrian connections, offering universal accessibility, improving plant collections and highlighting seasonal changes, diversifying uses, enhancing educational opportunities, and developing tools to engage "creative recognition of the historical development of the campus over the past 100 years [while enhancing] the ability to continue the representation over the next 100 years"18 MVVA was selected because it had experience with restoring historical campus landscapes as well as with developing a sustainable plan for the university's core precinct.
In response, MVVA drew on the nature of the fountain as a water resource and the drama of the vista to propose a plan that might alter the functionality of the place in order to address contemporary resource management while retaining historical continuity and integrity (see figure 16).
Probably most significant is that the MVVA plan proposed and defined an emerging relationship between the vista, the campus, and new forms of mass transportation.