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2018 CSI Teams and Projects Announced

thesandlotMahan Rykiel Associates' The Sand Lot in Baltimore, Maryland

Seven faculty Research Fellows and eight high-performing landscape projects have been selected for LAF’s 2018 Case Study Investigation (CSI) program. CSI is a unique research collaboration that matches faculty-student research teams with design firms to document the benefits of exemplary high-performing landscape projects. Teams develop methods to quantify environmental, economic and social benefits and produce Case Study Briefs that are published in LAF’s award-winning Landscape Performance Series.

Research Fellows lead the CSI collaboration and receive funding to support a student Research Assistant. Participants from each firm serve as liaisons and work with the academic team. This year, each of the five teams will study one to two projects (instead of three, as in past years) in order to increase the breadth and depth of the research.

The selected projects include waterfront sites, brownfield reclamations, and — a CSI first — a pop-up park and restaurant. The diverse public spaces include a SITES-certified heritage site and a SEED-certified park designed to promote social equity.

The 2018 CSI program kicks off in February and runs through early August. We look forward to working with this impressive group and to learning more about these outstanding projects and their impacts!

CSI Research Fellow:
Catherine De Almeida, University of Nebraska
Student Research Assistants: Hannah LoPresto and Brandon Zambrano

  • Design Workshop - P Street Corridor, Lincoln, NE
  • Sasaki - Tom Hanafan River’s Edge Park, Council Bluffs, IA

CSI Research Fellow:
Lisa DuRussel, RLA, LEED AP, Pennsylvania State University
Student Research Assistant: Aastha Singh

  • Mathews Nielsen Landscape Architects - West Point Foundry Preserve, Cold Spring, NY
  • SWA - Hunter’s Point South Waterfront Park, Queens, NY

CSI Research Fellows:
Jon Calabria, Alfred Vick, and Brian Orland, University of Georgia
Student Research Assistant: Rachael Shields

  • HDR, Inc - Historic Fourth Ward Park Phase 1, Atlanta, GA
  • HDR, Inc - University of Georgia Science Learning Center, Atlanta, GA

CSI Research Fellow:
George Bradley Guy, Assoc AIA, LEED AP BD+C, SEED, Catholic University of America
Student Research Assistant: Jazzmin Reid

  • Depot Park, Gainesville, FL

CSI Research Fellow:
Pavlina Ilieva, AIA, Morgan State University
Student Research Assistant: Naomi Wong Hemme

  • Mahan Rykiel Associates - The Sandlot, Baltimore, MD

Projects, Firms Announced for 2017 CSI Program

barangarooreserve-530wPWP Landscape Architects' Barangaroo Reserve in Sydney, Australia

LAF has selected 13 high-performing landscape projects for the 2017 Case Study Investigation (CSI) program. CSI is a unique research collaboration that matches LAF-funded faculty-student research teams with design practitioners to document the benefits of exemplary landscape projects.

Participants from each firm will serve as liaisons and work with the 2017 CSI Research Fellows to evaluate and quantify the environmental, social, and economic performance of the selected projects. The resulting Case Study Briefs are published in LAF’s award-winning Landscape Performance Series database of over 100 projects.

With projects spanning three continents, 2017 CSI promises to be an engaging experience with marked additions to the Landscape Performance Series. Projects this year include a pedestrian trail that connects two oceanside cities, a former ballast quarry, three healthcare facilities, a master planned community, two reclaimed elevated rail lines, and more.

The 2017 CSI program kicks off in February and runs through early August. The resulting Case Study Briefs from these participating firms and projects will be published in the fall: 

  • ASPECT Studios
    The Goods Line, Redfern, New South Wales, Australia
  • Design Workshop
    Wayne Ferguson Plaza, Lewisville, TX
  • HGA Architects and Engineers
    Hennepin County Medical Center Whittier Clinic, Minneapolis, MN
    Owensboro Health Regional Hospital, Owensboro, KY
    Virtua Voorhees Hospital, Voorhees, NJ
  • James Corner Field Operations + Friends of the High Line
    The High Line, New York, NY
  • McGregor Coxall
    Ballast Point Park Birchgrove, Sydney, Australia                        
  • PWP Landscape Architecture
    Barangaroo Reserve, Sydney, Australia
  • TBG Partners
    The Shops at Park Lane, Dallas, TX
    Harvest, Argyle, TX
  • Tsinghua Tongheng Urban Planning and Design Institute
    Yanxiu Park, Liaoyang City, Liaoning Province, China
    Huludao-Xingcheng Coastal Trail, Huludao and Xingcheng, Liaoning Province, China
  • Wenk Associates
    TAXI II, Denver, CO     

We appreciate these firms’ interest in the landscape performance of this impressive list of projects, and we look forward to working with each of them.

2017 CSI Research Fellows Announced

LAF’s 2017 Case Study Investigation (CSI) program kicks off next week with six faculty CSI Research Fellows. CSI is a unique research collaboration that matches faculty-student research teams with design firms to document the benefits of exemplary high-performing landscape projects. Teams develop methods to quantify environmental, economic, and social benefits and produce Case Study Briefs for LAF’s Landscape Performance Series.

csi-graphic-v2CSI Research Fellows lead the CSI collaboration, work with firms to identify measurable impacts of select projects, develop evaluation methods, and oversee the case study production process. These select faculty members receive an honorarium and funding to support a student research assistant.

The following LAF CSI Research Fellows will lead the five 2017 Case Study Investigation teams:

  • Richard Plunz, Columbia University
  • Hong Wu, PhD, Pennsylvania State University
  • Simon Kilbane and Andrew Toland, University of Technology Sydney
  • Taner Ozdil, PhD, ASLA, University of Texas at Arlington
  • Shan Jiang, PhD, West Virginia University

We look forward to working with this distinguished group! From February through early August, the CSI research teams will work to document the performance of 13 exemplary projects. Stay tuned — next week, we’ll announce the projects and firms selected for participation.

New Book Features Case Studies from 3-Year Collaboration with ILASLA


The Illinois Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ILASLA) recently released Landscape Architecture Performs, a sleek book featuring 19 case studies from LAF’s Landscape Performance Series.

The book is the result of a 3-year partnership between LAF and ILASLA to develop case studies of high-performing landscapes designed by Illinois-based firms. The case studies were produced through LAF’s Case Study Investigation (CSI) program, which matches faculty-student research teams with practitioners to quantify the environmental, economic and social benefits of built projects.

Featured projects were designed by AECOM, Conservation Design Forum, Hitchcock Design Group, Hoerr Schaudt, Jacobs/Ryan Associates, Living Habitats, site design group, SmithGroupJJR, and Terry Guen Design Associates. The book was edited by ILASLA’s Carrie Woleben-Meade and designed by a5 Branding and Digital. From 2013 to 2015, the Chicago-based Driehaus Foundation provided funding to support CSI research teams from the Illinois Institute of Technology and the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign to develop case studies. Additional support for the book was provided by Unilock, the Kresge Foundation, Landtech Design, and Maglin Site Furniture.

LAF enjoyed being part of this collaboration, and we sincerely thank all of the ILASLA members and CSI participants who devoted their time and energy to make the case studies and book a reality. We would especially like to thank Terry Ryan, former chair of the ILASLA Marketing Committee and the late Deb Mitchell of SmithGroupJJR, who conceived the book and partnership.

The case studies and book serve as a valuable tool in ILASLA’s advocacy efforts with local leaders and the state licensing board to show the value of well-designed parks, open spaces, and other sustainable landscapes.

The Landscape Architecture Performs book is for sale through ILASLA for $20 plus $5 shipping and handling. For more information, contact:

To see a collection of the online case studies follow the link below, or browse the entire library:

Dilemma, Debate and LAF in Salt Lake City

The Landscape Architecture Foundation (LAF) and its research initiatives will be well-represented at the upcoming Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture (CELA) Conference March 23-26 in Salt Lake City, Utah. Organized by Utah State University, the conference will also involve a day trip to the main campus in Logan, Utah.


LAF staff will present during two Concurrent Sessions, report to the CELA Board and Administrators during their respective meetings, and host a meet-and-greet for the 2016 CSI Research Fellows and past Landscape Performance Education Grant and Case Study Investigation (CSI) participants. The conference also features a number of presentations from LAF program participants, who will speak about their methods, findings, and further research.

In total, research from and about LAF’s various Landscape Performance Series initiatives will be part of seven sessions:

Concurrent Session 1, Thurs, 3/24, 8:00-9:20 am
Presentations:     Landscape Performance: A Bold Idea in a Change-Averse Town
                                Matthew James and Erika Roeber, South Dakota State University

                                Integrating Life-Cycle Costs with Landscape Performance
                                Yi Luo, Texas Tech University

                                Case Study Meta-Analysis: A Step Toward Informing Design
                                Mary Myers, Temple University
                                Bo Yang, Utah State University

Concurrent Session 2 - Thurs, 3/24, 9:30-10:50 am
The Role of Landscape Performance in Standardized Landscape Architecture Curricula
Panel with:            Andrew Fox, North Carolina State University
                                Kenneth Brooks, Arizona State University
                                Stephanie Rolley, Kansas State University
                                Emily McCoy, Andropogon and North Carolina State University
                                Arianna Koudounas, Landscape Architecture Foundation

Concurrent Session 2 - Thurs, 3/24, 9:30-10:50 am
Wadi Hanifah: Landscape Infrastructure for the 21st Century
Presentation by: Jean Trottier, University of Manitoba

Concurrent Session 5- Sat, 3/26, 8:00-9:20 am
Understanding Courtyards at U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters: Methods to Quantify Use and Density
Presentation by: Chris Ellis, University of Maryland

Concurrent Session 6- Sat, 3/26, 9:30-10:50 am
Looking Beyond Case Studies in Social Performance Research: Replicable Surveys and Generalizable Outcomes
Panel with:            Mary Myers, Temple University
                                Taner Ozdil, University of Texas at Arlington
                                M. Elen Deming, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
                                Heather Whitlow, Landscape Architecture Foundation

Concurrent Session 8, Sat, 3/26, 2:00-3:20 pm
U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters Heat Island Performance
Presentation by:   C. Dylan Reilly, University of Maryland

Concurrent Session 9, Sat, 3/26, 3:30-4:50 pm
Presentations:     Measuring the Social Performance of Food Production Landscapes
                                Ellen Burke, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo

                                Evaluating Performance of Campus-based Agriculture: Is Bigger Better?
                                D. Scott Douglas, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign