These studies analyzed the social impacts of two urban open space improvement projects.  The two sites, in a Los Angeles, California neighborhood and El Paso, Texas’s downtown, were in communities that were largely Hispanic and underdeveloped in public amenities.  Both studies used a three-part evaluation framework to determine social, environmental, and economic impacts, but focused especially on social impacts, drawing on several of the six major social determinants of health.  The teams used various research tools and methods: thermal imaging cameras, temperature and humidity sensors, decibel meters, surveys, interviews, tabulated site data on usage and biodiversity, and reviews of community aims from the engagement process.  The investigation was funded by Landscape Architecture Foundation’s Landscape Performance Series through a National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Arts Works grant.  The project continues SWA’s efforts in post-occupancy assessment.


Claire Latané, (Jose) Luis Reynoso, and Jose G. Gutierrez, Cal Poly Pomona
Chingwen Cheng and Ramandeep Kaur, Arizona State University
Jonah Susskind and Anya Domlesky, XL research and innovation Lab at SWA
George Kutnar and Jonathon Koewler, SWA


Gerdo Aquino, Ying-yu Hung and Andrew Gressett, SWA
Megan Barnes, Landscape Architecture Foundation
Mark Flores, City of Lynwood
Sarah Fisher, Cal Poly Pomona
Joe Gudenrath, El Paso Downtown Management District
Elizabeth Triggs, and Benjamin Fyffe, City of El Paso


Ricardo Lara Linear Park
San Jacinto Plaza
El Paso Pedestrian Pathways (Durango Street Improvements)
Mills Avenue Pedestrian Promenade
Arts Festival Plaza


ASLA Award of Excellence in Urban Design
Repairing the Rift: Ricardo Lara Linear Park (research contribution)

Ricardo Lara Linear Park

El Paso Pedestrian Projects


Landscape Performance Series Case Study Brief
Ricardo Lara Linear Park

Landscape Performance Series Case Study Brief
El Paso Pedestrian Pathways