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LAF Staff Changes

kathlinda2Program powwow: Katharine and Linda

Linda Ashby, ASLA will be leaving LAF at the end of the month, after 2.5 years with the organization. She began working on the Landscape Performance Series and various communication efforts, before taking on her primary role as manager of LAF’s Case Study Investigation (CSI) initiative. Linda was instrumental in the development of CSI and in taking it from concept to pilot to the signature program that it is today.  We are delighted that she will continue to stay involved as a member of the LAF Research Committee. We wish her all the best as she and her family relocate to the Seattle area and she looks for her next opportunity.

While we will miss Linda’s energy, we are pleased to announce that Katharine Burgess, AICP is already on board to manage the CSI program, bringing expertise in urban planning, research, and writing and an international perspective on landscape performance. Katharine joins LAF after seven years in private practice, where she managed projects ranging from university campus plans to large-scale, mixed-use developments to recovery planning charrettes on the post-Katrina Gulf Coast. Welcome Katharine!

LAF and Landscape Performance at CELA

LAF, CSI, and landscape performance will be well-represented at the upcoming Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture (CELA) Conference March 27-30 at the University of Texas at Austin.

cela2013LAF will participate in four panel sessions on various aspects of evaluating landscape performance. There are also a number of presentations from past LAF Research Fellows and student Research Assistants on their Case Study Investigation (CSI) program research and projects. In addition to these Concurrent Sessions, LAF will host a morning meet-and-greet for the 2013 CSI Research Fellows and give updates at the CELA Board Meeting and Administrators Meeting .


Research & Methods Track

Session 1- Wed 3:20-4:30pm (Room: AT&T 203)
Presentations Based on 2012 Case Study Investigation (CSI) Research

Presentations:   Do Social, Economic and Environmental Benefits Always Complement Each
                              Other? A Study of Landscape Performance
                              Yi Luo, Ming-Han Li, PhD Texas A&M University

                              On the Research Front: 2012 CSI and the Case of Streetscape
                              Bo Yang, PhD, Yue Zhang, Pamela Blackmore, Utah State University

                              Quantifiable Landscape Performance Benefits: The Case of Brent Elementary
                              Mark Storie, Byoung-Suk Kweon, PhD, Chris Ellis, PhD, University of Maryland

                              Strategies for Developing Landscape Performance Case Studies
                              Jessica Canfield, Kansas State University, Bo Yang, PhD Utah State University


Session 2 - Thurs, 8:30-9:40am (Room: AT&T 107)
Evaluating Landscape Performance: Economic Benefits

Panel with:          Barbara Deutsch, FASLA, Landscape Architecture Foundation
                              Bo Yang, PhD, Utah State University
                              Yue Zhang, Utah State University
                              Dennis Jerke, Texas A&M University


Session 4 - Thurs, 1:30-2:40pm (Room: AT&T 108)
Evaluating Landscape Performance: Environmental Benefits

Panel with:          Kristina Hill, PhD, University of California - Berkeley
                              Mary Myers, PhD, Temple University
                              Barry Lehrman, Cal Poly Pomona
                              Ming-Han Li, PhD, Texas A&M University


Session 5 - Thurs, 3:10-4:30pm (Room: AT&T 107)
Applying Science to Design for and Evaluate Performance

Panel with:          Barbara Deutsch, FASLA, Landscape Architecture Foundation
                              Mark Simmons, PhD, Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
                              Danielle Pieranunzi, Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
                              Deb Mitchell, FASLA, SmithGroupJJR


Session 6 - Fri, 9:00-10:10am (Room: AT&T 203)
Evaluating Landscape Performance: Social Benefits

Panel with:          Linda Ashby, Landscape Architecture Foundation
                              Victoria Chanse, PhD, University of Maryland
                              Bo Yang, PhD, Utah State University
                              Byoung-Suk Kweon, PhD, University of Maryland


Session 7 - Fri, 10:40-11:50am
Two sessions include presentations on 2012 CSI projects:

                             Perception of a Functional Wetland Landscape in a Senior Living Community
                             Mary Myers, PhD and Allison Arnold, Temple University (Room: AT&T 107)

                             Cross Creek Ranch Master Planned Community: Landscape Performance
                             Ming-Han Li, PhD, Bruce Dvorak, and Yi Luo, Texas A&M University and Matt
                             Baumgarten, SWA Group (Room: AT&T 202)


2013 CSI Research Fellows Meeting

Friday, 8:00-8:50am (Room: AT&T 104)
CSI Meet & Greet
Faculty members selected as 2013 LAF Research Fellows and any past CSI program participants are invited to this casual gathering to meet LAF staff, network with colleagues, and exchange information as the 2013 CSI program gets underway.

We Moved!

In line with the organization’s growth, LAF has moved to a new office in downtown Washington, DC, just a few blocks from our old one. We’re proud to be in the LEED Gold-certified Liberty Building and hope that you’ll stop by if you’re ever in the neighborhood!

staff-newofficePlease update your records with the new address:

Landscape Architecture Foundation
1129 20th Street NW, Suite 202
Washington, DC 20036

Phone (202.331.7070) and fax numbers (202.331.7079) are the same, though extensions have changed for Programs & Communications (Heather - x16) and Scholarships (Leslie - x14).

To download new vCards for the LAF staff, click on the links below. 

Barbara  |   Heather  |   Matt   |   Emily  |   Katharine

2013 CSI Firms and Projects Announced

A total of 20 design firms and 24 projects have been selected for LAF’s 2013 Case Study Investigation (CSI) program.CSI is a unique research collaboration that matches LAF-funded faculty-student research teams with leading practitioners to document the benefits of exemplary high-performing landscape projects.

Participants from each firm will work with the 2013 Reseach Fellows to evaluate the performance of one or more built projects and produce Landscape Performance Series Case Study Briefs. Projects are selected based on design innovation, potential to produce comprehensive quantified benefits, availability of baseline information, and the firm’s commitment to the research collaboration.

The 2013 CSI program is just getting underway. You can expect to see new Case Study Briefs in the fall from these participating firms and projects:

  • Alameda County Surplus Property Authoritycsi-advocatelutheranhospitalCDF's Advocate Lutheran General Hospital
    Tassajara Creek Restoration
  • Conservation Design Forum
    Ann Arbor Municipal Center
    Advocate Lutheran General Hospital
  • de la fleur LLC
    One Drop at a Time
  • Design Workshop
    Capitol Valley Ranch
    Cascade Garden
    Riverside Ranchcsi-eriestplazaStoss Landscape Urbanism's Erie St Plaza
  • Fred Phillips Consulting
    Yuma East Wetlands
  • Ground, Inc
    Parc Nouvelle: A Tapestry of Experiences and Planting
  • Hitchcock Design Group
    Boneyard Creek Restoration: Scott Park and the Second Street Detention Basin
  • Jacobs/Ryan
    Museum of Science and Industry Smart Home: Green + Wired
  • Living Habitats
    Chicago Botanic Garden Lake Shoreline Enhancement Projects
  • MIG
    Napa River Flood and Watershed Protectioncsi-chicagobotanicgardenLiving Habitats' Chicago Botanic Garden Lake Shoreline Enhancement Projects
  • The Office of James Burnett
    Klyde Warren Park
  • OLIN
    Simon and Helen Director Park
  • PWP Landscape Architecture
    UT at Dallas Landscape Improvements
  • Richard Burck Associates
    Watch Factory
  • SmithGroupJJR
    Carmel Clay Central Park
    Millikin State Park & Harbor
  • Stoss Landscape Urbanismcsi-randallkidshospitalZGF Architects' Randall Children's Hospital
    Erie Street Plaza
  • SWA Group
    Buffalo Bayou Promenade
  • Terry Guen Design Associates
    63rd St Beach
  • WRT
    Dutch Kills Green
  • Zimmer Gunsul Frasca Architects
    Randall Children’s Hospital at Legacy Emanuel

Landscape Performance Research: The Economics of Change

By Jason Twill, LEED AP and Stuart Cowan, PhD

The built environment and building industry together account for about 50% of U.S carbon emissions and contribute to a web of significant, interconnected problems: climate change, persistent toxins in the environment, dwindling supplies of potable water, flooding, ocean acidification, habitat loss and more. Over the past decade, great strides have been made in terms of energy efficiency, water and waste consumption, and sustainable materials, and a critical mass of innovative professionals has emerged.

Yet a major barrier to the broad adoption of advanced green building practices is our 20th century real estate financial system. Current lending approaches, appraisal protocols, and valuation models do not reflect the true externalized costs of doing “business as usual” nor do they fully capture the additional environmental and social benefits created by building green. These barriers affect the perceived financial viability of environmentally sound projects and slow innovation and market growth. To fully realize true sustainability, a shift in assessing and evaluating real estate investment is urgently needed.

The Economics of Change is a groundbreaking effort to do just that.

The overarching goal of The Economics of Change is to shift mainstream real estate practices to document the full value of a built environment that is compatible with healthy, natural systems. Correcting real estate incentives and improving financial models will shift investment toward buildings and infrastructures that are financially rewarding, resilient, socially just and economically restorative.

eoc-shiftA project's integrated value includes its traditional market value AND the environmental and social value it provides. This research seeks to shift the investment barrier to the right through recognition of integrated value, potentially unlocking a trillion dollars of investment towards restorative building.

In the first phase, The Economics of Change team created a prototype tool to demonstrate how the ecological and social benefits of green buildings can be monetized in real estate investment models. The Phase 1 report The Economics of Change: Catalyzing The Investment Shift for a Restorative Built Environment provides an overview of ecosystems services that can be applied to the built environment, an analysis of current and future real estate investment frameworks, and a description of the prototype tool.

Phase 2 will expand and pilot the tool in an interactive and open-source format while deepening ties to leading practitioners within the financial industry to leverage the shift from theory into action. Next steps include researching and assembling economic case studies of a select group of high-performing developments, including completed Living Building projects to identify cost data, economic models, environmental/cultural/social benefits realized and analyze costs/benefits.

With the real estate market on the verge of recreating itself, the time to align valuation models with energy policy and to integrate ecosystem services into the economic framework is now. This is a bold project, but we believe that the world needs more bold ideas, and an overhaul of what we value and how we value is at the heart of the paradigm shift we need to move towards a restorative future.

The multidisciplinary research team behind The Economics of Change comprises experts in the fields of ecosystem services, real estate finance, appraisal and sustainable design. The International Living Future Institute serves as the lead agency on this project. Jason Twill is the originator of The Economics of Change project and President of Systems Economics LLC. Stuart Cowan is a research team member and the co-founder of Autopoiesis LLC. For more information, contact Richard Graves, Executive Director of the International Living Future Institute at