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ERIC Number: EJ973533
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 23
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 28
ISSN: ISSN-0736-0983
Greening the American Campus: Lessons from Campus Projects
Way, Thaisa; Matthews, Chris; Rottle, Nancy; Toland, Timothy R.
Planning for Higher Education, v40 n2 p25-47 Jan-Mar 2012
Campus landscapes can serve as living laboratories for reducing carbon footprints, conserving water and aquatic resources, supporting biodiversity, and building active, equitable social communities. Moreover, as learning landscapes, such campuses actively promote sustainable design by engaging faculty, staff, and students in the design and implementation process as a part of the pedagogy of place. This progressive focus positions universities as leaders educationally and environmentally. Acknowledging the breadth of campus design across the nation and world and the diversity of sustainable design practices being implemented, this article suggests frameworks and practices identified in four North American university case studies. This approach fits well within the sustainable design movement, which has increasingly acknowledged the need for individual site responses. It responds to current calls for specificity in how sustainability is defined and sustainable practices are described and offers a grounded framework for exploring this diversity. In turn, lessons from the cases suggest arguments that might be used to persuade leaders of the critical importance of changing how institutions plan and design future campus landscapes. The institutions selected for this article each engaged a landscape architect in the campus design, illustrating the opportunity for the landscape architecture community to take a lead role in the sustainable design process. In the first two studies, at the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY-ESF) and the University of Washington Tacoma (UW Tacoma), professionals worked with constituents to reflect a focus on community-based design. In the second two projects, at Wellesley College (Wellesley) and the University of Washington Seattle (UW Seattle), a landscape architecture firm was selected to lead the design projects. These four projects also represent a breadth of campus scale, from the small SUNY-ESF campus to the large UW Seattle campus, and from the private campus of Wellesley to the new public landscape of UW Tacoma. Such variety allows broad discussion while highlighting shared values, methods, and outputs. (Contains 19 figures and 21 notes.)
Society for College and University Planning. 339 East Liberty Street Suite 300, Ann Arbor, MI 48104. Tel: 734-998-7832; Fax: 734-998-6532; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: North America; Washington