Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning

Committee Chair(s)

Carlos V. Licón


Carlos V. Licón


Ole Russell Sleipness


Daniella Hirschfeld


Jennifer Givens


David Feldon


Higher education institutions worldwide have recognized the importance of integrating sustainability into their programs, with over 600 universities offering courses focused on sustainable development. This trend has led to the emergence of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD). This multidimensional approach aims to empower individuals to create a sustainable future by integrating environmental, social, and economic systems. In particular, ESD has been implemented in various aspects of higher education, such as course content, teaching methodologies, curriculum design, and faculty roles.

Design and planning education are critical components of shaping future decision-makers who will positively and negatively impact society and the environment. However, despite its potential to tackle complex design challenges, sustainability education in landscape architecture (LA) has received less attention from academia than other design and planning disciplines. As such, there is a need to prioritize integrating ESD into LA education to prepare future professionals for addressing social and environmental challenges.

The objective of this dissertation is to investigate the integration of ESD in LA education and to identify the approaches utilized and the benefits and challenges of integrating ESD into LA programs. The research method combines quantitative and qualitative research approaches, including surveys, syllabi, and document analysis. Therefore, the findings of this paper will inform LA educators and practitioners on best practices for integrating ESD into LA programs, preparing future professionals to address complex social and environmental challenges.