Inspired by the example of Columbia University in New York, the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, the University of Southern California in Los Angeles and other urban colleges that are improving campuses and “their gritty surroundings,” the University of Houston (UH) is planning a similar smart-growth overhaul of its 550-acre main campus, whose 62 parking lots will be converted into garages, classrooms, offices, dense housing, shops, and restaurants.