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LAF Events at the ASLA Annual Meeting

If you’ll be in San Diego for ASLA Annual Meeting & EXPO, we hope you’ll join us for one or more of the following events to support and raise awareness about LAF programs. In addition to the Olmsted Scholars and Landscape Performance Series , we’ll be showcasing Case Study Investigation (CSI), LAF’s newest initiative to integrate landscape performance in professional practice and design education.

benefit-cropThe Sky’s the Limit - LAF 26th Annual Benefit
Sun, Oct 30, 5:00-9:30pm
Join us on the exclusive Ivy Rooftop at the Andaz Hotel for a delightful evening, where we’ll honor the 2011 Olmsted Scholars, recognize the faculty Research Fellows who led the summer Case Study Investigation (CSI) collaborations, and showcase the Landscape Performance Series a year after launch. Proceeds support LAF’s research and scholarship programs.

LAF Booth in ASLA Expo Hall (#1118)
Mon, Oct 31, 9:00-5:00pm
Tue, Nov 1, 9:00-5:00pm
expo-boothStop by our booth to learn more about LAF, meet the 2011 Olmsted Scholars, see the Landscape Performance Series and results from our Case Study Investigation (CSI) initiative, and register for our Sustainable Destination Sweepstakes. We’ll also be conducting video interviews, so come prepared to share your thoughts for potential inclusion in our Conversations with Leaders in Landscape - we’d especially like to get anecdotes from past LAF Board members, scholarship winners, and reserach grantees.

EXPO Learning Lab: Landscape Performance Series
Mon, Oct 31, 10:30am
expo-booth2Learn how to use the resources of the Landscape Performance Series to demonstrate the impact of your projects and showcase your work.

Sustainable Destination Sweepstakes
Tue, Nov 1, 4:30pm
Join us in the ASLA Expo Hall as we draw the two grand prize winners of the week-long trip for two to Crosswater Ecolodge & Spa in China and the long weekend at the Carneros Inn in Napa, California. Entrants need not be present to win.

Landscape Performance in Design Education: LAF Takes the LPS to the Academy

The Landscape Architecture Foundation is known for its scholarships and support of education that multiplies the effectiveness of landscape architects. Now LAF is helping to introduce landscape performance into design education. This fall marks LAF’s first coordinated effort to bring the concept of landscape performance into the classroom as we work with faculty at the University of Washington and the University of Virginia to educate landscape architecture students on the importance of quantifying landscape’s ecological, economic, and social benefits.

In today’s climate of downsizing, budget reductions and program cuts, providing proof of performance to the decision-makers who impact policies, programs, investments, and land development must be a critical part of design education. Students need the skills and knowledge to quantify and communicate objective data in order for landscape solutions to compete in this burgeoning evidence-based market. 

That is why LAF has teamed with Associate Professor and Director of the Green Futures Research and Design Lab Nancy Rottle at University of Washington, and Associate Professor Kristina Hill, PhD at University of Virginia to pilot methods to integrate landscape performance in university curricula.

UW’s Sustainable Urban Landscapes: Landscape Performance graduate seminar incorporates a classroom-based pilot of LAF’s Case Study Investigation (CSI) initiative. With the assistance of two Summer CSI Research Assistants, Pam Emerson and Delia Lacson, students in the course will work with local firms to develop methods to quantify benefits and document high performing landscape projects to produce LPS Case Study Briefs. Potential projects include Hubbard Homestead, North 40 at Brightwater, Washington State University LID Center, Tacoma Chinese Reconciliation Park, Red Ribbon Park, and Magnuson Park. Watch for these case studies and more later this year.

At the University of Virginia, Professor Hill teaches that landscape performance is crucial to pursuing and evaluating successful design. In her Sites and Systems course, students will use the LPS this fall to review metrics that can be used to predict and/or determine levels of performance in designed public spaces. Students will also evaluate and propose other metrics based on their ability to measure diverse variables, such as aesthetic experience or walkability. Watch for new tools and calculators in the Benefits Toolkit in December.

LAF shares a vision with these talented professors of enhancing landscape design education, and ultimately leading the profession to routinely set and design for specific performance objectives, collect performance data, and document work. We thank Nancy and Kristina for taking the lead in this important movement, and for joining us in helping to prepare students to adapt to the future environment.

Contact LAF if you are interested in working with us to integrate landscape performance into your coursework. For more on this topic, look for LAF, Nancy Rottle, Kristina Hill and other CSI Fellows at the LAF Benefit, October 30 in San Diego, and the CELA Conference, March 28-31 at the University of Illinois.

Landscape Performance Series at 1 Year

It’s been a year since the Landscape Performance Series (LPS) was officially launched at LAF’s 2010 Annual Benefit by representatives of Founding Partner, the JJR/Roy Fund. Since then LAF has worked hard to build the LPS content and spread the word about this amazing resource. 

lps-launch-checkThe LPS is officially launched, Sept 10, 2010.We’ve personally introduced the LPS to over 2,000 people through 35 conferences, special events, and webinars. These include education sessions at major national conferences like the 2010 ASLA Annual Meeting, Greenbuild, CELA, LABASH, and the Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting, along with a host of local and regional events. While initial outreach has focused on the landscape architecture profession, soon we’ll be expanding efforts to target allied professions, nonprofits, and federal and municipal agencies. Look for our upcoming presentations at the ULI Fall Meeting, 2011 ASLA Annual Meeting EXPO, and 2011 Cities Alive Green Roof & Wall Conference.

lps-honorawardThe LPS receives an Honor Award for Communications, April 15, 2011.The extensive outreach paid off in the form of a 2011 Honor Award for Communications from the Potomac and Maryland Chapters of the American Society of Landscape Architects. To date, the LPS webpages have been viewed 56,000 times by 8,000 unique users.

The Case Study Briefs now number 18 and are the most popular LPS content. Among them, Thornton Creek Water Quality Channel, Yale’s Kroon Hall, and the Menomonee Valley Redevelopment are the most visited, while Cavallo Point is the most discussed. Our collections of Benefits Toolkit tools and Fast Facts have more than doubled since launch, and we’re working to expand the Scholarly Works to include materials from both students and faculty.

lps-casestudiesThe growing collection of LPS Case Study Briefs.Even more LPS resources are coming this fall. Our summer Case Study Investigation (CSI) initiative, which matched firms and faculty-student research teams, generated 25 new case studies and a wealth of information on methods and tools to quantify benefits.

To mark the LPS’s one-year anniversary, we’ll be rolling out one new case study per weekday leading up to LAF’s Annual Benefit in San Diego on Oct 30. Visit the LPS Case Study Briefs landing page to see the latest or get our daily announcement via Facebook.

We also want to hear from you. How are you using the Landscape Performance Series? Have the resources helped you make the case for sustainable landscape solutions? Who else needs to learn about landscape performance? What would you like to see more of? Please share you thoughts in the comment area below or by e-mailing

LPS on the Road: San Francisco

Monday, August 29, 2011

nteclogotealLAF Executive Director Barbara Deutsch will kick off the 2011 Transportation Enhancements Professional Seminar, “Transforming Landscapes,” with a keynote address on landscape performance. This annual event is geared toward State Transportation Enhancement program managers, Federal Highway Administration staff, related Federal agencies and national stakeholder organizations. Registration is required. Transportation Enhancements (TE) activities are federally funded, community-based projects that expand travel choices and enhance the transportation experience by improving the cultural, historic, aesthetic and environmental aspects of our transportation infrastructure. Since 1991, Transportation Enhancement programs have provided funding for more than 24,000 projects nationwide.

Marines’ Memorial Hotel
609 Sutter Street
San Francisco, CA 94102


aug2011sfeventMonday, August 29, 2011

LAF Executive Director Barbara Deutsch will present the Landscape Performance Series at AECOM’s San Francisco office on Chestnut Street. It will be an exciting and informative evening and a unique opportunity to learn about these resources to improve your practice, showcase your work, and help achieve sustainability. All are welcome to attend the networking reception and presentation.

Please RSVP by Friday, August 19, to

150 Chestnut Street
San Francisco, CA 94111
T 415.955.2800 
Map and Driving Directions

CSI: The Evidence is Mounting

LAF’s 10 teams of Case Study Investigation (CSI) academic researchers and firm practitioners have been engaged in fast-paced data gathering and analysis to document the performance of important landscape projects in the U.S. and abroad.

csiprogressIn July, members of the Texas A&M team traveled to Chicago to conduct an in-depth, two-week study of Millennium Park, defining and calculating its social, economic, ecological and sensory benefits. Chicago has been a center of CSI activity, with three teams (including universities of Washington and Michigan) working with firms and/or projects there.

Utah State’s research team traveled to New Mexico to analyze post-occupancy data from two of Design Workshop’s “Legacy Design” community developments. In Los Angeles, SWA is lending support to the University of Southern California team in documenting the Cheonggyecheon River restoration project in Seoul, South Korea. From Seattle to St. Louis, and Denver to New York and Philadelphia – great works of landscape architecture are being documented through this collaborative effort, spearheaded by researchers at the University of Washington, University of Virginia, Kansas State, and Temple University.

Although the research continues into August, preliminary findings appear far-reaching. Many teams are documenting increases in biodiversity, often in urban areas, that result from incorporating native plant species into landscape design. Innovations in harvesting, purifying and reusing stormwater are being reported in a format meant to inspire and inform Landscape Performance Series users. Often, teams’ analyses of data collected in post-occupancy evaluations, coupled with field observations, provide in-depth perspectives on landscape performance and implications for sustainability through landscape solutions. The evidence is mounting to support these other unique landscape performance benefits:

  • Job creation, educational and skills-training opportunities
  • Microclimate management to offset the urban heat island effect
  • Local economic revitalization
  • Flood protection
  • Reductions in carbon emissions and toxins
  • Public safety through reductions in crime and accidents
  • Public health through improved air quality and pedestrian accessibility

This growing community of LAF landscape performance experts – currently 10 landscape architecture faculty members, 12 student researchers, and practitioners from 22 firms – are generating compelling evidence that demonstrates the critical role landscape solutions play in sustainable design and project construction.