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Coming Soon: LPS Collections

collectiondetailTo bring the concept of landscape performance to new strategic audiences, promote next-generation infrastructure, and enhance the experience for the 60,000+ unique users, LAF is developing a new website to house its Landscape Performance Series (LPS) and related resources.

The new website will feature “Collections”, themed groups of LPS content curated by LAF and leading thinkers, as a new way to organize and share content. When the site goes live in November, the Collections will be fully searchable and follow the design at right. But in the meantime, we’ve put some together right here in our blog to give you a preview of this exciting new content.

So…. <drumroll>, here are our first Collections. We’ll update this list as we put together more over the coming months.

  • The Case for Street Trees
    Need to advocate for more street trees, better design tree space design, or preservation of existing trees? Here are some useful precedents and research.
  • Small But Mighty
    It doesn’t necessarily take a lot of space to have a big impact. Here we showcase some of the smallest projects in the LPS along with Fast Facts on the benefits of even modest amounts of green.

If you have ideas for themes you’d like to see addressed in the Collections, please send them to lps@lafoundation.org. And be sure to mark your calendars for when the new Landscape Performance Series is slated to launch in November!

LPS Collection: Small But Mighty

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

centralwharfplazaCentral Wharf Plaza
Boston, Massachusetts

“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-greenroofASLA Headquarters Green Roof
Washington, DC

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.

 

elmeraveElmer 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.”

 

eriestplazaErie Street Plaza
Milwaukee, Wisconsin

“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.”

LPS Collection: The Case for Street Trees

Curated by: Landscape Architecture Foundation

Need to advocate for more street trees, better design tree space design, or preservation of existing trees? Here are some useful precedents and research compiled from our Landscape Performance Series.

Case Study Briefs

parkavenue

Park Avenue/US 50 Phase 1 Redevelopment
South Lake Tahoe, California

“Streetscape improvements are part of many revitalization plans, and trees often play a big role. In this case, street trees and large planted areas complement increased building setbacks and wider sidewalks, helping to revitalize this corridor and create a scenic, pedestrian-friendly destination.”



uptownnormalUptown Normal Circle and Streetscape
Normal, Indiana

“We’ve seen many a tree go into decline after maxing out its root space, so we love that this project uses underground structural cells to give more soil volume to the 67 street trees. This is projected to triple their lifespan, saving an estimated $61,000 in tree replacement costs over 50 years.”

 

theavenueThe Avenue
Washington, DC

“LAF is based in DC, so we know how essential shade is for outdoor dining in the summer. Researchers counted an average of 90 individuals dining outside at any given time in summer on The Avenue’s 58-ft wide landscaped sidewalk with double rows of street trees.

 

Fast Fact Library

A Modesto, California study found that asphalt on streets shaded by large canopy trees lasts longer than asphalt on unshaded streets, reducing maintenance costs by 60% over 30 years.

“This research is very powerful since Departments of Transportation (DOTs) may only think of street trees as a maintenance liability.”


A study of houses in Portland, Oregon found that on average, street trees add 3% to sales price and reduce time-on-market (TOM) by 1.7 days. In addition, the study found that the benefits of street trees spill over to neighboring houses.

“In addition to public benefits, street trees provide benefits to the adjacent property owners, like the increased home sales prices documented here.”



Benefits Toolkit

National Tree Benefit Calculator
Casey Trees, Davey Tree Expert Company

“This easy-to-use online tool calculates stormwater, energy, carbon, air quality, and property value benefits for individual trees. The only inputs are tree species, size, adjacent land use, and zip code.”

 

i-Tree Streets
USDA Forest Service

“This free application uses tree inventory data to quantify environmental and aesthetic benefits and their dollar value, including: energy conservation, air quality improvement, CO2 reduction, stormwater control, and property value increase.”

Help Us Create the Next Generation LPS

The Landscape Architecture Foundation (LAF) is currently developing a new website to house its Landscape Performance Series and related resources. The goal of the redesign is to enhance the user experience with improved organization, new resources, and more ways to browse and search the content.

startrek-lps-300wTo help us create the most dynamic website possible, we are seeking input from a variety of LPS users, from the one-timers to the diehards. We’ve developed the following short surveys for different user groups.The surveys focus on your use of the LPS, what you find most useful, and what additional functionality and resources you would like to see. Please take a moment to complete the appropriate survey and tell us what you think!

As a thanks for completing the survey, your name will be entered into a drawing to win LAF’s award-winning book, “Greening Cities, Growing Communities: Learning from Seattle’s Urban Community Gardens.”

LAF is also conducting phone interviews and focus groups for those wishing to provide more detailed feedback or engage in an open conversation about the website. If you are interested, please contact us at: lps@lafoundation.org.

Thank you in advance for your time, input, and assistance in making the Landscape Performance Series the best resource it can be!

Coming Soon: 20 New LPS Case Study Briefs

Now through November, LAF is rolling out 20 new case studies that showcase the environmental, economic, and social benefits of high-performing landscapes. Visit the LPS Case Study Briefs page to see the latest or follow us on Facebook , LinkedIn , or Twitter to get updates as each new case study is released.

The case studies are part of LAF’s award-winning Landscape Performance Series, an online, interactive set of resources to help you quantify benefits, show value, and make the case for sustainable landscape solutions. By year-end, the searchable database will contain over 80 Case Study Briefs.

From Dallas’ Klyde Warren Park to private residences in Aspen to the 1,000-acre Napa River Flood Protection Project, the new case studies represent a range of geographic locations, scales, project types. Documented landscape performance benefits include:

  • newlpscasestudiesFilters 4.5 million gallons annually, 100% of surface runoff from 12.5 acres of developable properties adjacent to the park. (Milliken State Park, Detroit, MI)
  • Improves the quality of life for 99% of 108 park users surveyed. (Buffalo Bayou Promenade, Houston, TX)
  • Creates an estimated 1,373 construction jobs and 1,254 permanent jobs on properties developed as a result of flood protection. (Napa River Flood Protection Project, Napa, CA)
  • Provided a hands-on educational experience for 450,000 people. (Chicago Museum of Science and Industry Smart Home, Chicago, IL)
  • Increased calmness in 57% and made the hospital stay easier for 50% of patients surveyed. (Advocate Lutheran General Hospital, Park Ridge, IL)

These exemplary projects were documented through LAF’s 2013 Case Study Investigation (CSI) program, a unique research collaboration that matched eight LAF-funded faculty/student research teams with practitioners from 20 participating design firms. The teams worked together to develop methods to quantify performance benefits and produce the Case Study Briefs.

Through the Landscape Performance Series and Case Study Investigation programs, LAF is working to advance our collective knowledge of landscape performance and lead the profession to routinely design with specific performance objectives, collect performance data, and integrate landscape performance in design education. The next CSI program will run March – August 2014 with applications available starting in October.