Planning for Higher Education Journal

Approaches to Contemporary Campus Landscape Design

Journal Cover
From Volume 22 Number 2 | Winter 1993–1994
By Carol R. Johnson

The landscape of a campus is often what makes it memorable. Landscape can unify a campus and represent a college's devotion to stewardship of the land. It is helpful to look at three main landscape designs: hard surface areas, site furniture, and soft surface areas. A balance must be achieved between hard paved and soft, grassy surfaces. Among concerns that must be dealt with are the proper width for pedestrian paths, disabled access, the cost of various paving materials, and the encroachment of vehicular traffic and parking. Colleges and universities should have site furniture that is unified, consistent, and compatible with the campus architecture and the values of the institution. Barbecue areas near dormitories, trash receptacles, security lighting, and quality of signage have all become increasingly important or popular. Planning of soft surface areas contributes greatly to the beauty of the campus; however, environmental concerns have made sustainability a goal. Trees must be carefully planned, yet with regard to ordered plantings, tree replacement planning is a must. To support funding for a high-quality campus landscape, it takes a commitment from administrators, trustees, and leading faculty. With such a commitment, a natural environment that nurtures the scholarly life can be created .

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