Evaluating and Prioritizing Duke's Natural Landscapes


Fall 2014 - Spring 2015


Duke University prides itself as being a “university in a forest”. But, Duke must also continue to advance its academic mission, provide space for the world-renowned hospital system, and a myr-iad of other things. In order to inform built environment planning and natural resource manage-ment decisions, our work provides a framework with which to evaluate natural spaces on Duke’s campus and offers a relative value (high, medium, low) of these spaces based on five key crite-ria: ecological, programmatic, cultural, pedagogical, and aesthetic values. The study was carried out at the request of, and with feedback from, the University’s Campus Sustainability Committee and its Natural Resources Subcommittee. We then tested the validity of the framework on a test site on campus. We believe the framework can be used to further the conversation about Duke’s natural areas, and that it will be a useful tool in campus development decisions.

Location: Chapel Woods, Anderson Woods



Marshall Upshaw, Siying Li


Charlotte Clark, Tavey Capps


Facilities Management Department, Sustainable Duke, Sarah P Duke Gardens

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