Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA)


Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning

Committee Chair(s)

Carlos V. Licón


Carlos V. Licón


Phillip S. Waite


Marion T. Bentley


Sustainability provides a framework to help guide future planning, policy, investment, and development actions toward achieving multidimensional development goals. The goals of planning for sustainable development aim at a future with high quality of life in a healthy and protected environment.

This paper adopts, reviews, critically examines, and tests a previously-developed methodology for sustainability assessment. The tested approach applies an interactive evaluation model to combine existing data to explain sustainable development possibilities for each evaluated locale. The model's results, presented through a graphic interface, can build knowledge to improve planning decisions and implementation actions for sustainability. The assessment can help to connect data with actions by providing means to organize and combine existing information, and by turning stakeholders' views of development into an operational decision support system.

The model proves capable - given adequate data - of determining how well communities measure up to a given definition of sustainability. Thus, the methodology is a good tool for testing how our conceptions of sustainable development map to the world we live in.