Planning for Higher Education Journal

Enhancing Campus Sustainability Through SITES and Socially Equitable Design

Journal Cover
From Volume 42 Number 4 | July–September 2014
By David Spooner
Planning Types: Campus Planning

Institutions referenced in this resource:
Agnes Scott College, University of Georgia

Sustainability guidelines for campuses typically focus on the environmental, structural, and organizational aspects of colleges and universities. The Sustainable Sites Initiative (SITES) expands the definition of campus sustainability by including “Socially Equitable” design guidelines that consider how people interact with and within campus landscapes. Landscapes that afford (1) mental restoration and (2) social interaction become sustainable under the SITES definition. This study conducted at Agnes Scott College and The University of Georgia tests the criteria associated with these guidelines to determine their relevance and impact. Through mapping exercises, direct observation, and a questionnaire survey, data were collected from 120 students to determine which “sustainable” criteria are relevant to campus landscapes. The findings confirm the criteria listed in the SITES guidelines and introduce additional criteria to consider for enhancing Socially Equitable design standards on campus.

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