Landscape Performance: Quantified Benefits and Lessons Learned from a Treatment Wetland System and Naturalized Landscapes Academic Article uri icon


  • Landscape performance, as defined by the Landscape Architecture Foundation, is the measure of efficiency with which landscape solutions fulfill their intended purpose and contribute toward sustainability. It is becoming a popular research focus in recent years; and its theoretical framework is built upon the sustainability triad: environment, economy and society. Through the quantification of environmental, economic and social benefits of a built landscape, its performance can be determined. This paper presents results from a landscape performance investigation and the lessons learned from a 3,200-acre master planned community that employs a treatment wetland system and naturalized landscapes. The research team identified environmental, economic and social metrics, and then collected data that reveals the performance results of the installed systems. Water quality, soil fertility, and herbaceous plant diversity were investigated. In addition, the research team quantified potential and actual benefits, including sequestration of carbon dioxide, and cost savings through the use of reduced mowing, fertilizer use, and reduction of irrigation with potable water. Environmental, economic and social benefit results are discussed. Lessons learned from management and maintenance issues during and post construction phases are summarized.

published proceedings

  • Landscape Architecture Frontiers

author list (cited authors)

  • Li, M. H., Dvorak, B., Luo, Y., & Baumgarten, M.

complete list of authors

  • Li, MH||Dvorak, Bruce||Luo, Y||Baumgarten, M

publication date

  • August 2013