Landscape Performance News

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National Study of Playgrounds: An Observational Study of Play and Design

How does design influence the use of playgrounds and the benefits they offer children, adults, and communities? The National Study of Playgrounds is the first observational study to examine the influence of design on use and physical activity in 60 playgrounds in the United States. The study was conducted over the summer of 2021 by Meghan Talarowski and her team at Studio Ludo, Dr. Deborah Cohen of Kaiser Permanente, Dr. Thomas McKenzie, and other partners.

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Sustainable Urban Ecology and Landscape Performance at ASU

An Arizona State University (ASU) team made up of practitioners and researchers are using landscape performance metrics to support a new vision of Sustainable Urban Ecology as they plan for ASU’s future landscape management. ASU’s Sustainable Urban Ecology plan focuses on managing and incorporating natural systems, with particular attention to enhancing biodiversity, water conservation and extreme heat mitigation, with a particular focus on the Sonoran Desert Biome that is home to four ASU campuses.

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Zoos and Landscape Performance

The role of zoos have evolved over the centuries to become complex spaces that blend natural and built landscapes, property operations, and institutional goals. As public institutions, they are redefining their purpose to focus less on entertainment and more on conservation, species protection, and education. How do zoo landscapes support the key roles and functions that zoos have within society and for the environment, and how does their design achieve their institutional goals?

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Landscape Performance and Aesthetics: Lessons Learned from a Career

Ron Koudys, FASLA, FCSLA, is a landscape architect in London, Ontario and founder of Ron Koudys Landscape Architects, Inc., a practice with projects in southern Ontario and further afield in the United States, the Caribbean, and the United Kingdom. Ron is currently pursuing a Doctor of Design at the University of Calgary, which he sees as an opportunity to reflect on past projects and attempt to capture the essence of what has been accomplished over the course of his career.

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Sasaki’s Carbon Conscience App: Assessing Carbon Impact Early and at Multiple Scales

Interdisciplinary design firm Sasaki has introduced the Carbon Conscience App to help designers assess carbon-related impacts from the early stages of planning and encourage them to think holistically about carbon in their projects. Most standard carbon assessment tools available to designers are appropriate for projects already in advanced design stages. After reviewing several internal projects, Sasaki found that key decisions early in the master planning process have significant impacts on the embodied carbon of a project.

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Evaluating Urban Trail Needs

by Kelly Mathiesen, SWA Group

Each year, SWA Group awards the firm’s Patrick T. Curran Fellowship to employees who look to challenge thinking in the landscape architecture profession and provide tools and resources for the firm and industry. Landscape designer and 2021 Curran Fellow Kelly Mathiesen took a landscape performance approach, looking at which elements are important in creating successful urban trails for runners and cyclists and how the rise of these recreational communities will affect the future of trail design.

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