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Curated by: Landscape Architecture Foundation
It doesn’t necessarily take a lot of space to have a big impact. Here we showcase some of the smallest projects in the Landscape Performance Series along with Fast Facts on the benefits of even modest amounts of green.
Case Study Briefs
Central Wharf Plaza
“At just 13,100 sf, this small plaza connects Boston’s Rose Kennedy Greenway with the Inner Harbor waterfront, serving some 280 pedestrians per hour. It also lowers ground-level temperatures by 10.4°F with tree canopy cover that shades 94% of the site. Pretty cool.”
ASLA Headquarters Green Roof
”The unique ‘waves’ aren’t the only thing that make this green roof seem bigger than its 3,000 sf. It is the subject of ongoing research, has hosted over 5,000 visitors, and has an extensive multimedia educational component that receives 35,000 annual pageviews.
Elmer Avenue Neighborhood Retrofit
Los Angeles, California
”This retrofit demonstrates that transportation infrastructure improvements can be combined with stormwater management to prevent flooding, improve walkability, and beautify the street. The street and residential properties along this one city block capture and filter runoff from a 40-acre area.”
Erie Street Plaza
“The City had lofty ambitions for this 0.25-acre former parking lot: create a significant public place that would become a key component of Milwaukee’s waterfront and new development in the Third Ward. The simple, inventive, and open-ended design does just that.”
Fast Fact Library
In a study of a Chicago public housing development, buildings with high levels of trees and greenery had 48% fewer property crimes and 56% fewer violent crimes than identical apartments surrounded by barren land. The greener the surroundings, the fewer the number of crimes that occurred, and even modest amounts of greenery were associated with lower crime rates.
“The greenery in this study was trees and grass, and the research suggests the exciting possibility that small-scale tree planting and beautification efforts in barren inner-city neighborhoods could help to create safer communities.”
An analysis of the impact of greening 4,436 vacant lots in Philadelphia found that greening was associated with residents’ reporting significantly less stress and more exercise in select sections of the city.
“The vacant lots that were greened averaged just 1,800 sf in size and yet correlated with improved health outcomes.”
Research in Tel Aviv determined that the presence of trees cooled the air from between .5°F on a heavily trafficked street to 2°F in a small (.37 acre) garden. The study also found that the cooling effects could be felt up to 330 feet from the site.
“The cooling effect of small groups of trees was noticeable not only within the wooded areas but also in their treeless surroundings.”
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