A research frontier in landscape architecture: landscape performance and assessment of social benefits

Bo Yang, Shujuan Li, Chris Binder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Abstract: This paper introduces a research frontier in landscape architecture—landscape performance benefits assessment. In an initiative proposed by the Landscape Architecture Foundation (LAF), leading landscape architecture firms and academic institutions have been collaborating on studies that quantitatively assess environmental, economic and social benefits of high-profile landscape design projects. This study describes the components and processes of LAF landscape performance research and specifically evaluates the status of social benefits assessment, a critical though under-investigated aspect of landscape design sustainability. Using 58 published LAF case studies, the study examines to what extent social benefits are quantified compared with stated design goals, the benefits across the LAF case portfolio (e.g. per benefit category and project type), and methods and data options available to perform the analyses. Finally, the study provides suggestions on improving landscape performance research, particularly social benefits, in the enterprise of achieving evidence-based designs that are anchored in quantitative performance measures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)314-329
Number of pages16
JournalLandscape Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 2 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • multifunctional landscapes
  • post-occupancy evaluation
  • Social sustainability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • General Environmental Science
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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