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Landscape Performance Series Case Study published

September 20, 2013

A new case study of Buffalo Bayou Promenade, Houston has been published to the Landscape Architecture Foundation’s award-winning Landscape Performance Series (LPS)! This unique online database now includes over 60 exemplary landscape projects with quantified environmental, economic, and social benefits. The impact of the Buffalo Bayou Promenade was assessed and documented through LAF’s innovative Case Study Investigation (CSI) program in collaboration with a fellow faculty and research assistants in the Program in Landscape Architecture at UT Arlington, and Landscape Architecture design firm, SWA Group. 

The UT Arlington team’s role in this research was to catalog quantitative and qualitative data through a multitude of primary and secondary sources.  The empirical data was acquired through innovative methodologies adopted by the research team to derive landscape performance benefits.  Continued review and distillation of the benefits allowed the team, with LAF and the firm liaison, to craft the published work now available to view online.  The innovative nature of the Buffalo Bayou Promenade yielded critical landscape performance benefits.  The forgoing of concrete channelization for a naturalized waterway contributed to a decrease in flood potential, an increase in habitat space for wildlife and provides a platform to become a popular amenity for citizens of Houston in a downtown setting.  Moreover, the promenade’s induction contributed to downtown Houston’s renaissance of increased housing opportunities, employment, retail sales and others. Overall, the promenade provides a fitting reminder that marginalized and derelict open spaces can be viewed as a design opportunity for environmental, economic and social revival of the space and its adjacency.  

Landscape Architecture Foundation selected nine research fellows and over 21 projects on a competitive basis for the Case Study Investigation (CSI) Program in 2013. Taner R. Özdil, Ph.D., Associate Professor at School of Architecture and the Research Fellow for CSI lead the UT Arlington’s team. Sameepa Modi and Dylan Stewart, MLA Candidates at UT Arlington were Graduate Research Assistants for the CSI research. The three case studies were completed by the UT Arlington team in collaboration with professionals are Klyde Warren Park, designed by Office of James Burnett; Buffalo Bayou Promenade, designed by SWA Group and The University of Texas at Dallas Campus Identity and Landscape Framework Plan, designed by PWP Landscape Architecture. The remaining two case studies will be published online once the peer-review process is completed in the following months. 

Buffalo Bayou Promenade case study can be accessed from: