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This paper is published as a part of ASLA's Landscape Architecture Technical Information Series. It is a 112-page peer-reviewed paper, providing practicing landscape architects with technical information about new and evolving landscape performance practices and tools.
Landscape architecture is at a pivotal moment in its history as a discipline—where design practice is becoming more reflective, adaptive and scholarly. As the need for sustainable design grows, it has become imperative that professionals put their work under analytical review and set higher standards for their work to perform environmentally, socially, and economically. The field looks more to the integration of research and scholarly inquiry in design as a solution to this growing need for high performance landscapes.
While the concept of landscape performance assessment is gaining attention within the field, the availability of time, resources, and technical expertise remains an obstacle for many designers in evaluating built work. More in-depth research investigations are best left to academics and scientists, but methods exist that every landscape architect can utilize to assess the performance of their own work for use throughout the planning, design, construction, and post-occupancy phases. This paper aims to provide an introduction to these metrics and methods that can be applied in the field. Less emphasis is placed on models and web-based calculators, which are available through resources such as the Landscape Architecture Foundation.
Sustainable Development & Design
Health, Safety and Welfare
1. Identify standardized methods for data collection for use in quantifying landscape performance benefits for environmental, socio-cultural, and economic performance.
2. Quantify the impact of landscape architecture projects on ecosystem and social services that protect the health, safety, and welfare of the public.
3. Identify data collection tools that can be employed at various stages in the design process, providing information that improves design and management of the landscape to maintain or improve performance over time.
Emily McCoy, ASLA
American Society of Landscape Architects