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Integrating landscape performance metrics in campus planning: baseline conditions for Temple University.


ACADEMIC INSTITUTIONS ARE DYNAMIC ENTITIES whose environments prioritize a positive dialogue between buildings and landscapes. Their landscapes often provide a serene parklike setting that softens the impact of the built environment. Additionally, institutional landscapes can promote human well-being and environmental health (Hartig and Cooper Marcus 2006; Voigt et al. 2014). Environmental health can be measured by the quantity and quality of ecosystem services that a landscape provides. Ecosystem services are defined as the provisioning, regulating, and cultural benefits that people obtain from ecosystems (Millennium Ecosystem Assessment 2005).

Campus landscapes have the potential to positively contribute to ecosystem services by valuing those services during the planning process. For example, since campus trees help regulate climate and sequester carbon dioxide, increasing the numbers and sizes of trees can increase this service. Reducing impermeable surfaces on campus can abate runoff and flooding both on- and off-site. Increasing the number of native plants boosts biodiversity, helping to improve the supply of other ecosystem services.

These benefits are generally known to those responsible for the installation and maintenance of campus grounds and help justify investment in a campus's landscape. What has not been understood or widely acted upon is the need to measure landscape performance to ensure that planning and installation methods make the most of this important resource. Additionally, the use of campus landscape installations, including storm water management systems, as learning opportunities for students and researchers has only recently been considered in campus landscape design. Knowledge of and continued academic/teaching involvement in landscape performance have the potential to dramatically increase our understanding of landscape installations, thereby positively affecting landscape design and environmental sustainability.


Spooner (2014) points out that several rating systems have been developed to assist campuses in understanding how physical design enhances sustainability. One of the first and now most prominent certification bodies is Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), whose rating system was issued in 2000. This system rates a building's level of sustainability based on measureable criteria. The Sustainable Sites Initiative (SITES) is a landscape rating system issued in 2009 that gives point credit in specific design, construction, and maintenance areas. Both LEED and SITES were intended to be used during the design process to incorporate sustainable elements.


While the LEED and SITES rating systems are evidence-based and have done much to advance sustainable design, credits are awarded based on design intent, not how the projects actually perform over time once they are built and operating. To fill this gap, the Landscape Architecture Foundation (LAF) developed a complementary initiative, the Landscape Performance Series (LPS), which has ongoing performance as its centerpiece. LAF defines landscape performance as "a measure of the effectiveness with which landscape solutions fulfill their intended purpose and contribute to sustainability" (Landscape Architecture Foundation n.d., [paragraph] 1). LPS assesses progress made toward achieving environmental, social, and economic goals based on measurable outcomes. The LAF program does not assign specific points and is not a certification system. Instead, it allows for a variety points and is not a certification system. Instead, it allows for a variety of tools and methods to be used to measure benefits.

LPS provides an online, searchable platform of curated content that focuses exclusively on the measurable benefits of landscapes: Resources include "Case Study Briefs" (1), a database of over 100 landscape projects with quantified environmental, social, and economic benefits. To date, 13 of the published case studies involve school or university projects. A "Benefits Toolkit" with a collection of free online tools and calculators is also provided and can be used to estimate landscape performance.

The majority of the case study briefs resulted from a collaborative research program developed by LAF called Case Study Investigation (CSI) (2). Launched in 2011, CSI matches faculty-student research teams with leading practitioners to quantify and document the benefits of high-performing landscapes. Based on the goals, context, and data available for each project, research teams develop appropriate metrics and methods to assess environmental, economic, and social benefits. Because this approach is project-specific and not prescriptive, a wide variety of tools and methods can be used to measure these benefits.

Each brief is accompanied by a "Methods" document that explains how each quantified performance benefit was derived including assumptions, data sources, calculations, and limitations. These documents indicate that a wide range of tools are being used to measure performance, including predictive modeling, onsite data collection, social survey questionnaires, and free online calculators.

While the case study briefs focus on the measurable performance of landscapes that are built and operating, a similar assessment process could be used to evaluate and compare different design schemes that attempt to optimize various ecosystem service benefits.


It is becoming increasingly clear that landscape performance measurement can and should inform practice. Discussion among educators, researchers, and practitioners suggests that the profession ought to be routinely designing for, measuring, and communicating performance and that this should be part of the educational curriculum (Landscape Architecture Foundation 2012). Students need awareness of and skills related to landscape performance in order to prepare for the professional challenges and opportunities of an increasingly evidence-based marketplace.

In 2014 and 2015, LAF offered a total of 10 Landscape Performance Education Grants to selected faculty to accelerate the adoption of landscape performance in design education. The grants allowed faculty to develop and test models for integrating landscape performance into standard landscape architecture course offerings. Course materials developed through the program become part of the "Resources for Educators" section, a library of sample teaching materials such as syllabi, reading lists, and student assignments as well as faculty reflections on their pedagogical approaches to and experiences with teaching landscape performance.


Temple University was awarded an LAF education grant for a seminar proposal focusing on the university's main campus in north Philadelphia. The seminar aimed to provide students with an understanding of the concept of and tools associated with measuring landscape performance.

The timing of this course could not have been better: the university had been engaged in a building "boom" since 2010 that added significant square footage to the campus but did not emphasize the landscape or its sustainability. The landscapes associated with the building projects lacked careful thought and were often eliminated from project budgets when cuts were made. Only storm water management, required by the Philadelphia Water Department (PWD), was addressed consistently. As is the case in many older American cities, the sewer system in place is taxed heavily by an increased population, mandating an aggressive approach to storm water management across the city. With the help of a research grant from the William Penn Foundation, university researchers partnered with the PWD and the university facilities planning group to develop innovative models for storm water management that could serve as models for other areas within the city. While early installations of roof gardens and underground retention and detention systems were designed using the cutting-edge technology of the time, they required repair and adjustment post-construction because they did not function as well as anticipated. As the university began planning the next wave of new buildings and a dramatic overhaul of the campus landscape, the Department of Landscape Architecture recognized that it was a good time to assess existing baseline conditions and consider ways to increase ecosystem services over time. This recognition of the need to evaluate landscape performance was a turning point for the university in its commitment to its role as a steward of the environment.

The landscape master planning process was initiated as a major capital investment, an outcome of the "Temple 20/20" framework plan that was winding down. That effort had focused on the addition of basic and much-needed facilities to support an expanded student population and improve the urban character of the university's most public edge: along Broad Street, Philadelphia's primary north-south corridor. Although the framework plan had identified the need for an improved landscape, funding had not been allocated to enable its implementation. The campus was changing rapidly with the addition of new facilities, but without a focus on the landscape, it still lacked a sense of place or welcoming pedestrian identity.

Once funding for the landscape planning process was allocated, a team of stakeholders, including faculty from the Department of Landscape Architecture, was formed to work with the selected design team and the university architect to establish a strong and cohesive vision for the campus that would capitalize on existing assets, incorporate innovative and sustainable design concepts, and guide both the long-range and short-term development of the landscape. Participants emphasized the need to reinforce the changes taking place through the construction of new buildings at a more detailed and "human" scale, as well as the importance of enhancing and embracing the urban context of the campus by creating beautiful places and streets that would connect people.

The firm chosen to develop the landscape master plan, Lager Raabe Skafte Landscape Architects (LRSLA), was well versed in both Philadelphia culture and campus landscape design and used precedent studies to elicit reactions and ideas from stakeholders. The firm engaged a wide-ranging mix of participants from across the campus, asking them to share their views of what was needed to make the campus work better, look better, and feel more like a place meant for people. Virtually every office, school, college, and department on campus was asked for its view on landscape components such as outdoor lighting, traffic flow, vegetation, open spaces, wayfinding, and campus identity. Very strong attachment to the few precious existing outdoor spaces was communicated and countered with equally strong dislike for the harsh quality of streets, dominance of cars and trucks, and lack of meaningful open space where people could celebrate, gather, and relax. There was great enthusiasm for investment in landscapes that would remedy the shortcomings of the campus by being better designed, more sustainable, and more focused on people.

The seminar on the performance of the Temple campus landscape was structured with the objective of bringing faculty, practitioners, and students together to work collaboratively to enhance the knowledge and practice of landscape architecture. The seminar was offered in spring 2014, at the same time that the university landscape master plan was being developed. This concurrency suggested that course content should be directed toward understanding (and explaining) the ways that landscape performance measurement could inform university ideas and policies regarding the landscape (figure 1).

The seminar incorporated presentations from and to students by the university architect and consultant. This integrative approach recognized that students are stakeholders in and potential contributors to the campus environment. However, many students may "pass through" the campus setting without affecting decisions made about it. This seminar allowed students to evaluate existing conditions and propose tools for measuring the changes made to the landscape over time.

The final product was a report describing the pros and cons of nine potential tools after they were vetted through peer-reviewed literature and practical application (Kelly and Malloy 2014). The report presented campus baseline conditions in four areas of sustainability: carbon sequestration, pedestrian quality, bird habitat, and ecological quality. These topical areas are aligned with ecosystem services associated with climate regulation, social/cultural services, and biodiversity.

The seminar was offered for the first time in spring 2014. Meetings were held once per week, allowing time for presentations, discussions, or work sessions, although most of the work was done outside the classroom. The course was open to both undergraduate and graduate students who could register for one, two, or three credits. Nine students enrolled in the course: two seniors in landscape architecture; five graduate students in landscape architecture; and two non-matriculated students, one with a B.S. in horticulture and the other with an M.S. in science. Seven students took the course for one credit, and two took it for three credits. Those two were responsible for attending extra meetings, developing PowerPoint presentations, and compiling and editing the final 36-page report to the university architect. The mix of levels and educational backgrounds made for interesting approaches and dialogue.

The overarching goal of the seminar was to have students understand the value of empirical evidence in supporting design decisions and assessing the performance of built projects. The outcomes of three projects served to promote this understanding:

* PRECEDENT STUDY. Students looked at eight different campuses of public and private universities and one elementary school to understand how campuses gather, value, and track landscape performance over time. Those findings were presented in a PowerPoint presentation to the university architect, Margaret Carney. During that meeting Ms. Carney took the time to inform students about the long-term planning and vision for the campus.

* INVESTIGATION OF POTENTIAL TOOLS/METHODOLOGIES. Students then researched nine possible tools and methods for measuring landscape performance. They explored peer-reviewed literature and wrote a report on each tool's purpose and functionality, the pros and cons of its use, and whether and how the tool might be applied to the campus.

* REPORT ON BASELINE CONDITIONS. Students used the four tools deemed most appropriate to measure the baseline conditions of a core area of campus. Findings were documented to serve as benchmarks for measuring future conditions. The report proposed academic programs that could be involved in future monitoring and advocated including students in the data collection effort.


LAF provides a toolkit to researchers that includes software and online calculators useful in measuring performance. Each student selected a particular tool from the LAF toolkit: eBird; InVEST; i-Tree; Green Roof Energy Calculator; Pedestrian Environmental Quality Index (PEQI); Plant Stewardship Index (PSI); Urban Heat Island Mitigation Impact Screening Tool (MIST); Value of Green Infrastructure; and Water Harvesting Calculator. The students reviewed the published LAF case studies to see how many researchers found the tool useful. The students then conducted a literature review to assess the tool's validity. Only tools that had been vetted through peer-reviewed literature were selected to examine further. A final part of the selection process was the personal application of the tool to see whether it was easy or cumbersome to use. Students then wrote a brief two-to-three-page report describing the purpose of the tool, the results of the literature review and personal application, and the tool's pros and cons. The findings were presented to the class to allow students to compare their tools with others. The ensuing discussion facilitated decisions about whether the tool should ultimately be used in the Temple University campus project. The following five tools were explored and ultimately rejected for use in measuring Temple's baseline landscape conditions. Some were not useful at the site scale or were more applicable to buildings than landscapes. Others were simply guides, as opposed to calculators, and considered too general or simplistic for the campus project.

1. InVEST. InVEST is a tool intended to inform decisions made by local governments, nonprofits, and corporations about natural resource management (Tallis et al. 2011). Developed by the Natural Capital Project, InVEST is designed to quantify trade-offs and provide information about the effects of different planning scenarios. It is a software tool that relies on familiarity with geographic information system (GIS) technology and the input of considerable data over time (up to a year). InVEST operates at a large scale and is intended to be used to develop planning scenarios, not to collect and input site-specific data over time. Student M.-C. Munnelly contacted the Natural Capital Project and the World Wildlife Fund (a Natural Capital Project partner] regarding whether InVEST should be applied in a campus setting. Although the two contacts were enthusiastic about the potential for InVEST to develop collaboration among architects, sustainability committees, consultants, and administrators, they acknowledged that as of March 2014, they did not know of its application in an urban campus setting. The only campus known to use it is the Kamehama School in Hawaii, whose campus is over 16,000 acres (Munnelly 2014). Therefore, the class decided that although this tool might be useful to larger campuses, groups of campuses, or even cities that wish to develop long-term plans measuring ecosystem services over time, it would not be useful for our specific project/campus.

2. GREEN ROOF ENERGY CALCULATOR. The Green Roof Energy Calculator is a quick estimating tool developed by Portland State University in collaboration with the University of Toronto that compares the energy performance of a building without a green roof to its performance with a green roof (Shaw 2014). The model uses albedo, effect of canopy on heat exchange, and thermal and moisture transport in growing media with moisture inputs from precipitation, evaporation, and transpiration (Portland State University 2013). The model is calibrated to reflect conditions in 100 North American cities but is not based on a "detailed scientific study of individual roofs" (Shaw 2014, p. 9). Student Margaret Shaw found the calculator to be simple and user-friendly but determined that there was ambiguity related to the leaf area index. This tool was not used in the Temple University project because green roofs were not being considered in the landscape master plan. The seminar students did recommend its use should the university wish to compare building projects with and without green roofs.

3. URBAN HEAT ISLAND MITIGATION IMPACT SCREENING TOOL (MIST). MIST estimates "the likely impacts of heat island mitigation strategies averaged at the city-scale" (Sailor and Dietsch 2005, p. 11). Student Alex Hoxsie explored this tool and found that its predictions, which are based on increased vegetative cover and/or albedo for 260 cities, estimate the reduction of temperature over a citywide area, rather than a neighborhood or local area: "For example, increasing vegetative cover throughout the city of Philadelphia from 35% to 45% is estimated to reduce the average temperature of the city by 0.5-1.0 [degrees]F" (Hoxsie 2014, p. 15). So, while the tool is useful, like InVEST, "for large scale policymaking, it does not address the locally-significant effects that shade trees or light-colored pavement can have on a micro-environment along a city sidewalk or within a green space between campus buildings" (Hoxsie 2014, p. 15). Hoxsie recommended using relatively inexpensive equipment to obtain more specific data at the campus level, such as hand-held infrared thermometers to measure shaded versus non-shaded areas of the same campus space or data loggers to record air temperature on a continuous basis.

4. THE VALUE OF GREEN INFRASTRUCTURE. This is a guide intended to inform policy makers about the benefits of green infrastructure to a community. It is a compilation of other sources, such as literature related to the value of aesthetics and livability associated with green environments and research regarding the calculations necessary to get quantitative data on green roofs, tree plantings, permeable pavement, etc. Student Shannon Kelly (2014) noted that the tool is useful as a beginner's guide to the values of green infrastructure but does not go into great depth on any specific performance tool.

5. WATER HARVESTING CALCULATOR. This calculator, developed by Wasaho Water Harvesting Solutions, a private company, was compared with Washington State's Rainwater Harvesting Calculator. The Wasaho calculator was found to be much easier to use: it requires less data input and, unlike the Washington State calculator, does not require an Excel interface (Pereira 2014). The Water Harvesting Calculator estimates the quantity of rainwater needed for grey water uses, specifically toilet flushing, within a building, based on building occupancy, average rainfall, and catchment areas. Student Teresa Pereira found it simple, reliable, and user friendly. It is a tool that the university could use to determine how to transition to more sustainable water usage within its buildings. However, it was not considered particularly relevant or useful in measuring baseline landscape conditions.

The following four tools were used to assess Temple University's current landscape and establish baseline monitoring data:

1. eBIRD. eBird is a program designed to allow citizen scientists to record and enter bird observations into a shared database. Developed by the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology and the National Audubon Society, the program collected and stored 3.1 million bird observations from North America between 2002 and 2012. It is also a repository for bird observations worldwide. Peer reviewers consider the data collected by eBird to be of high quality (Wood et al. 2011). Student Jill Friedenberg (2014) describes it as an "extremely powerful" tool due to the nature of the data it collects. For example, weather, temperature, and human population can be linked to eBird data, yielding "graphs and charts that examine populations of birds in relation to factors that may influence their population and distribution" (Friedenberg 2014, p. 2). Friedenberg notes that even in an urban setting, such as the Temple campus, bird observations have been recorded. With a better understanding of habitat needs and migration patterns, it might be possible for the campus to plant and maintain landscapes that support more varieties of birds. One of the drawbacks of eBird is that it may be difficult for non-birders who lack bird knowledge to submit data (Friedenberg 2014).

2. i-TREE. i-Tree is a software suite of tools developed by the U.S. Forest Service that provides data on the carbon sequestration, air quality, storm water, economic, and other benefits associated with trees, especially urban forests. Greg McPherson, one of the developers of i-Tree, notes specifically that the software was developed with landscape architects (and others) in mind who might be interested in analyzing the benefits and costs of municipal forests (Myers 2013). The i-Tree software is based on STRATUM (Street Tree Resource Analysis Tool for Urban Forest Managers) software; "STRATUM uses growth curves modeled for significant urban tree species within each of 17 national climate zones" (U.S. Forest Service 2011, [paragraph] 6) to calculate carbon sequestration along with several additional environmental and economic benefits of urban vegetation. The data are consistently updated, and the model has been vetted through numerous peer-reviewed articles. i-Tree is available through the national Tree Benefit Calculator, a free, easy-to-use tool. The location, species, and size of the tree must be entered to measure its benefits. A negative aspect of the software is that knowledge of tree species is needed in order to properly identify and size a specimen, and so inaccuracies can occur. Another "con" is that it can be time consuming to enter the data (Han 2014).

3. PEDESTRIAN ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY INDEX (PEQI). PEQI was developed by the San Francisco Department of Public Health (SFDPH) to prioritize pedestrian infrastructure improvements to the streetscape (Malloy 2014). PEQI is an observational survey that quantifies street and intersection designs known to affect people's travel behavior. PEQI identifies 31 factors that reflect the quality of the built environment and assigns weights to them. An audit form developed by the SFDPH can be used by a trained observer to collect data. According to student Sean Malloy (2014), there is not a great deal of peer-reviewed literature about the use of PEQI for performance monitoring. But he noted that PEQI has been used to provide baseline data for two high-density developments in Portland, Oregon, and Seattle, Washington, designed by the firm Mithun. Malloy felt that PEQI could be modified for use at Temple to assess the quality of the streets that cross through and surround the campus. Positive aspects of PEQI include its usefulness as an urban planning and performance monitoring tool that ranks street condition and can track changes over time. A negative aspect is that the score is somewhat dependent on zoning, which as a default is based on San Francisco's zoning code (Malloy 2014).

4. PLANT STEWARDSHIP INDEX (PSI). PSI is a free calculator from Bowman's Hill Wildflower Reserve that evaluates the ecological integrity of native plant communities in the Piedmont regions of Pennsylvania and New Jersey. It was developed by botanists and ecologists and is based on field knowledge of plant communities. Coefficients of conservatism (CC's), ranging from 0 to 10, are assigned to each plant in the database. Higher CC's are assigned to species that are "'conservative' in their requirements for stable native plant communities. Species with lower CC's are generally found in a broader range of habitats" (Bowman's Hill Wildflower Preserve 2012, p. 3). Non-native plants are assigned a CC of zero as they are assumed to have no positive effect on ecological quality. Student Anne Brennan (2014) notes that PSI is intended for use in natural areas, restoration projects, and other landscapes comprising mostly native species and is limited in its ability to assess cultivated or garden landscapes that contain many non-native plants. But she also notes that PSI could be useful in establishing a baseline metric for ecological quality on the Temple campus because if the native Mean C increases over time, it could mean that "soils and other conditions are being managed in a way that reduces disturbance to the growing environment; this is because high-CC species need stability to persist" (Brennan 2014, p. 14). Native Mean C is the sum of coefficents of conservatism (CC/s)/total number of native species (N). Native Mean C provides a view of the native "intrinsic floristic quality of the site" (Bowman's Hill Wildflower Preserve 2012, p. 16).



Fourteen bird species were sighted on the Temple University campus between September 2013 and February 2014 (Kelly and Malloy 2014). Year-round residents included the house sparrow, European starling, American robin, gray cat bird, and red-tailed hawk. These species "have adapted and thrived in close association with human beings and their man-made environments featuring tall buildings, lawns and refuse" (Kelly and Malloy 2014, p. 21).

Temporary (migrating) residents included the hermit thrush, eastern towhee, wood thrush, white-throated sparrow, ovenbird, ruby-crowned kinglet, blackpoll warbler, common yellowthroat, and blue-throated warbler. These species are not seeking or establishing a permanent habitat; instead, they "are searching for food to sustain them during calorie-demanding endeavors such as breeding or migrating" (Kelly and Malloy 2014, p. 21). Both permanent and temporary bird species seek food and forage in leaf litter: "spiders, berries and buds in low bushes, thickets and trees are favored foods" (Kelly and Malloy 2014, p. 21). Student Jill Friedenberg suggests that leaving some leaf litter in the autumn will provide invertebrate food sources for birds. She also recommends limiting the use of herbicides and pesticides that destroy habitats or poison food supplies. The baseline report provides photos of the campus birds and a chart of their breeding season and food requirements (figure 2).


Trees were sampled in five areas of the campus. Tree species included amur maple, willow oak, sweetgum, northern red oak, pin oak, gingko, golden rain tree, eastern redbud, and Japanese black pine. The sample was entered into the i-Tree Eco calculator, which showed that it was estimated to store four tons of carbon per year; however, "these numbers would increase greatly if every tree on campus were put into the i-Tree system" (Kelly and Malloy 2014, p. 24). Additionally, as the trees grow, sequestration numbers should increase because carbon is sequestered in each year's new growth. This is justification for the development of a long-term campus tree plan that replaces ailing trees and develops landscapes that promote tree health and longevity.


Trees help to reduce storm water runoff, especially in urban areas. Leaves intercept precipitation, and root systems promote infiltration and storage in the soil (Kelly and Malloy 2014). i-Tree was also used to calculate avoided runoff associated with the tree species found in the sample. The existing species with greatest overall impact on runoff were willow oak, northern red oak, ginkgo, common yellowwood, amur maple, pin oak, blue atlas cedar, Japanese black pine, and European white birch. These trees were calculated to intercept 70,800 cubic feet of water annually.


The PEQI tool was used to develop a baseline rating for walkability in and around the Temple University campus. Onsite data were collected along the boundaries of the campus where it intersects with Broad Street (a busy thoroughfare to center city), Cecil B. Moore Street, Diamond Street, and 12th Street. Two data collectors, students Sean Malloy and Teresa Pereira, studied a 40-page instruction manual and used the PEQI Intersection form to record observations. The data collectors also took photographs to record various street segments and intersections. Photographs are not required by PEQI but provide a visual that is useful when studying the numerical scores tallied by the program. The total possible PEQI score is 100 points. The highest score in this survey was 72.75 for the Broad Street and Montgomery Street intersection, and the lowest score was 50.25 for the 12th Street and Montgomery Street intersection. The report suggests that improving pedestrian quality at the intersections along 12th Street should be a priority for the campus: "If we expect pedestrians to navigate campus according to the quality of the walking experience, it is imperative to improve the clarity and safety of the intersections along" 12th Street (Kelly and Malloy 2014, p. 28). 12th Street also received a low score (50.25) for the area between Montgomery Street and Cecil B. Moore Street, indicating that design remediation is needed there as well (figure 3).


Tree inventory data for the core area of campus were provided by Morris Arboretum's Draft Tree Inventory and Management Plan. Shrub and herbaceous plant data were compiled by Anne Brennan, horticulture supervisor of Temple University Ambler and a seminar student. A total of 86 species were entered into the PSI calculator, and the native Mean C score was calculated to be 4.6, which "can be interpreted to mean that proper siting of the native plants has allowed for some of the higher CC-species to become established and persist. (The assumption is that repeated disturbance would kill these plants.)"(Kelly and Malloy 2014, p. 30). Further, the total Mean C of 2.5 "indicates that introduced plants make up a large component of the plant palette. Considering that 42 additional non-native ornamental species with CC = 0 were present but could not be included in the calculation (because they aren't available in the PSI database), the true metric should be even lower" (Kelly and Malloy 2014, p. 30).


Students in a special seminar funded by LAF vetted possible measuring tools and selected four readily available tools to measure the existing conditions of a core area of Temple University's main campus. Limitations were identified for each of the tools. For example, PEQI is based on the San Francisco Public Health and Zoning code, which is also its default setting. This tool would have been more appropriate if it were based on Philadelphia's design standards. PEQI could be updated to use the codes or planning policies of different cities. eBird requires the proper identification of birds, and while basic instruction could help amateur birders, incorrect identification is still possible. The i-Tree calculator potentially allows the entry of incorrect data (due to repeat entries of different sizes of the same species). Use of this tool (and others) requires, at the very least, consistent review of input data. The PSI calculator, which has been vetted by ecologists and botanists who corroborated on both the field research and assignment of coefficients of conservatism, is currently only useful for Pennsylvania and New Jersey. This free tool ought to be replicated and made available to other states. However, it must be noted that PSI does not include many non-native ornamental species that are often present in urban and suburban regions and that were present on the Temple University campus. Do these species have ecological value? If so, how should it be factored into the data?

Findings were compiled in a report that suggests that any landscape "could be evaluated using the tools to assess existing conditions, inform design scenarios, and to monitor built design over time" (Kelly and Malloy 2014, p. 33). The seminar's approach is easily replicable. Other campuses might use design studios or seminars within landscape architecture, architecture, or other disciplines such as environmental studies to develop reports on baseline conditions.

The baseline information can be extended to establish an official monitoring program for Temple University and to better understand how the campus can promote ecosystem services. Planners and landscape architects are increasingly recognizing the potential for designed landscapes, such as campuses, to contribute to ecosystem services (Daily et al. 2009; Mooney 2014). The measurements compiled in the seminar indicate that the Temple University campus landscape is contributing to regulating ecosystem services such as carbon sequestration and flood regulation through the size and number of its trees. Biodiversity, which is the basis for all ecosystem services, was measured through PSI. Cultural ecosystem services, which include aesthetic, spiritual, and recreational benefits, could be measured in the future through social surveys. Time did not permit creating, piloting, and carrying out a social survey during this single-semester course.

Annual or regular monitoring will provide evidence of improving or deteriorating conditions. For example, "during peak migration season students can bird watch and record species seen on campus for eBird . . . [or use] i-Tree to gauge how much C[O.sub.2] a specific outdoor space is sequestering" (Kelly and Malloy 2014, p. 33). If the environment is improved with more diverse plantings, one would expect insects and birds to benefit and carbon sequestration to increase, especially as those plantings grow. Likewise, PEQI can be used to assess changes in walkability and the pedestrian experience. The Temple University landscape master plan proposes significant design improvements to the pedestrian environment. The built designs should be evaluated using the same PEQI criteria to measure quantifiable improvement. Similarly, PSI data are easy to update and save, allowing the university to compare annual statistics and seek opportunities for improvement. Ecological quality could be improved by specifying more locally native plant species, which in turn provide food for insects, birds, and small mammals, thus contributing to the greater biodiversity of the urban ecosystem.

Developing and applying landscape performance tools at Temple University started as an academic exercise, but even in its earliest inception demonstrated significant long-term value. The ability to develop measurable criteria or metrics against which alternatives can be weighed gives additional substance to the design process beyond the intuition and experience of design practitioners. The participation of stakeholders in the decision-making process can be more effective when it is combined with the rigor and logic embodied in the use of performance measurement tools and the additional scrutiny required by their application. Temple University is an institution whose mission is research and education, and it is only natural that investments made in creating its campus environment would be evaluated and assessed, with outcomes used as learning tools whenever possible. In this way, outcomes can contribute to the body of knowledge from which this university and others will draw moving forward. As new landscape projects are initiated, the most relevant tools should be applied to measure potential benefits, assess ongoing performance, and learn from mistakes as well as successes.


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by Mary Myers, Margaret Carney, and Heather Whitlow


MARY MYERS has a Ph.D. from Edinburgh College of Art, an MLA from Harvard University, and a BSLA from the University of Wisconsin. She is an associate professor of landscape architecture in the School of Environmental Design, Temple University. She was chair of the department from 2006 to 2012, during which time she spearheaded development of the Temple University master of landscape architecture program with a concentration in ecological landscape restoration. Her publications include Andrea Cochran: Landscapes (Princeton Architectural Press 2009); the anthology Science of Sustainable Design, 2nd edition (Cognella Academic Publishing 2014); and articles in Landscape Architecture Magazine, Landscape Journal, Public Roads, and other journals. She is a professional landscape architect whose years in practice inform her teaching, research, and outreach. She is interested in the potential of research to inform design and vice versa. She has secured nationally competitive grants from the Landscape Architecture Foundation (LAF) since 2012 to conduct landscape performance measurement on built projects. In 2014, she was awarded an education grant from LAF to teach landscape performance metrics.

MARGARET CARNEY, a graduate of Cornell University, is the associate vice president and university architect at Temple University in Philadelphia, where she has worked since April 2011. She previously served as the university architect and planner at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, where her work focused on the university's role as an anchor institution within the city. Currently she is overseeing the implementation of Temple's 2014 campus master plan and landscape master plan, Verdant Temple, which identified over a billion dollars of capital investment over the next four years, including a new university library, three new research facilities, and a major open greenspace that will create a pedestrian-focused center within the urban campus. This work follows the recent completion of over $1.2 billion in capital investment guided by the previous master plan. Prior to her role as university architect, she spent 20 years with firms specializing in campus planning and design, including TAC, Sasaki, and Benjamin Thompson Inc. She has taught urban design and architecture programs at Cornell University, the Boston Architectural Center, and Kent State University and currently teaches at Temple University.

HEATHER WHITLOW is the director of programs and communications at the Landscape Architecture Foundation (LAF). She leads LAF's Landscape Performance Series initiatives and has coordinated the production of over 100 case studies showcasing the measurable environmental, economic, and social benefits of exemplary landscape projects. Her previous experience includes positions in urban and community forestry, transportation planning, and GIS modeling. Her projects have earned a national Communications award and two Research awards from the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) and two Communications awards from the Potomac/Maryland ASLA Chapters. She holds B.S. degrees in environmental engineering and chemistry from Michigan Technological University and a master's of community planning from the University of Maryland.



Figure 2 Temporary (Migrating) Bird Species Data

                        Breeding       Seeds  Fruit  Insects
Species                 Season         Y      Y      Y
Eastern Towhee          Summer                Y      Y
Hermit Thrush           Summer                Y      Y
Ovenbird                Summer                Y      Y
Blue-throated Warbler   Summer                       Y
Yellowthroat            Summer
White-throated          Doesn't        Y
Sparrow                 nest locally
Ruby-crowned Kinglet    Migrates       Y      Y
Wood Thrush             Summer                       Y
Blackpoll Warbler       Migrates       N      Y      Y

Chart of temporary bird species' breeding season and food needs by Jill
Friedenberg (Kelly and Malloy 2014, p. 22).
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Title Annotation:PLANNING STORY
Author:Myers, Mary; Carney, Margaret; Whitlow, Heather
Publication:Planning for Higher Education
Geographic Code:1U2PA
Date:Jul 1, 2015
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