Comprehensive Landscape Planning
Paul F. Anderson
Final presentations at the Adel fire station
Final projects for Adel parks, greenbelts, and sports fields
- Gain additional experience finding and selecting landscape data appropriate
for master planning studies
- Gain additional experience in inventorying and evaluating a large area
based on published and unpublished data and on field observations
- Practice interpreting landscape data based on a set of client criteria
and professional criteria
- Develop a series of alternatives and evaluate their advantages and
- Improve your abilities to communicate master plan information in oral,
graphic, and written forms
- Address a variety of master planning issues: clients, users, social,
economic, legal, political, management, maintenance
- Create a portfolio-quality master plan report or brochure that is well-written
Landscape planning objectives
- Use client criteria and professional criteria to help define tour concepts
and example routes
- Develop a set of conceptual alternatives for routes
- Refine one of the alternatives into a schematic plan addressing themes,
interpretation, sequencing, transitions, sites (attractions, events, accommodations),
parking, buildings, outdoor activity areas, and their connections (pedestrian,
vehicular, and visual)
- Prepare recommendations for project implementation: staffing, design
forms and materials, route corridor management, signage, construction phasing,
cost estimates, and so on.
Every master planning project in this class requires a different approach
and schedule. But there are many similarities. Here's a typical outline
for a half-semester project:
WEEK ACTIVITIES PRESENTATION % GRADE
1 Review and compare master plan reports Master plan review 10%
2 Introduce project & site, organize tasks
2 Inventory site and visit clients Inventory 5%
3 Program activities, facilities, policies Program 5%
3 Analyze opportunities and limitations Analysis 5%
4 Develop alternative concepts Preliminary concepts 5%
5 Refine selected concept Refined concept 10%
6 Select area(s) for site planning
7 Develop implementation recommendations
7 Finish final drawings Final drawings 20%
8 Finish writing and typing Final brochure 20%
8 Present drawings and recommendations Final presentation 20%
Remember that this is an example. The schedule may need to be modified
somewhat to fit the project we're working on. But this is a starting point.
MASTER PLAN REVIEW
A major product of landscape planning projects is a master plan report
or brochure. Typically, a report is produced in booklet form. For smaller
projects, a brochure is typically produced in booklet form, flyer form,
or folded sheet form. Master plan reports and brochures contain descriptions
of the project and site, program, site inventory and analysis, concepts
alternatives and policy recommendations, master plan drawings, and implementation
recommendations (staff requirements, cost estimate, phasing, and so on).
One way to discover what master planning is and how it is done is to
review professional master plan reports. You will be responsible for examining
two reports and evaluating their contents. When you present your findings
to class, we'll compare content and quality. This will give us an idea of
common practice in master planning projects.
This will also give us a basis to create a list of tasks for our semester
project, establish a schedule, follow a master planning process, and document
the results in a master plan report or brochure.
What to look for
- Organization of chapters or sections
Description of project, region, and site
Key factors, considerations, concerns, issues
Objectives, priorities, policies
Program of activities, facilities
Recommended plan and policies
Master plan drawings -- conceptual and schematic
Implementation schedule or phasing
References, bibliography, data
- Writing -- well organized, clear writing, good mechanics
Graphics -- appropriate, legible graphics
Report -- appropriate cover and binding
Wednesday 1/18 Select and review two master plan reports; meet with me
Friday 1/20 Meet with me and present a list of similarities and differences
Monday 1/23 Present a comparison of your reports' content and quality
Use appropriate graphics to communicate and illustrate your comparison.
Tour Routes for Silos and Smokestacks
Recently, Silos and Smokestacks was established in Waterloo as a private
non-profit partnership dedicated to celebrating northeast Iowa's agricultural
heritage. This includes people, places, and product innovations related
to farming, food processing, and related technologies. Silos and Smokestacks
attained national prominence when President Clinton signed Public Law 103-138
directing the National Park Service to conduct a feasibility analysis to
determine whether the region's assets and role in US history meet NPS criteria
for "national significance," qualifying it to become a part of
the NPS system.
Silos and Smokestacks is envisioned as a network of new and existing
sites and experiences which educate people about food systems and about
agriculture as a way of life. According to a marketing consultant's report,
"the Silos and Smokestacks concept represents a viable theme upon which
to base a multi-site, multi-county tourism development initiative."
Major parts of the concept are (1) creating interpretive facilities for
tourism and education, (2) designating highway routes for tourists, and
(3) managing areas to maximize their educational value and enjoyment. Major
management options include preservation, conservation, restoration, and
Silos and Smokestacks staff members asked us to help them (a) identify
significant cultural and natural features in northeast Iowa, (b) develop
alternative master planning concepts for tour routes, and (c) select example
routes linking significant features in a logical, educational, and enjoyable
TEN STEPS TO WRITING BETTER
MASTER PLAN REPORTS and BROCHURES
1. Use outline form to organize your material.
Headings for chapters, sections, or other parts are helpful.
For longer reports, an overview and summary are also helpful:
(a) tell them what you're going to tell them,
(b) tell them, then
(c) tell them what you told them.
2. Keep your writing brief and to-the-point. Put
longer explanations, background information, data, and other materials in
appendices or in a separate volume.
3. Use a personal, conversational tone for easy reading.
Don't use a stuffy, formal tone with lots of jargon.
Good: One of my priorities is protecting the scenic view
at the main entrance.
Bad: The visual quality at the beginning of the user's
experience should be considered as an important
factor in planning the overall sequence of movement
at the entrance and throughout the entire site.
4. Use active voice and action verbs, rather than passive
Good: I created the major entrance at the southeast corner.
OK: I decided to create the major entrance at the
Bad: It was decided to create the major entrance at the
5. Use shorter words, sentences, and paragraphs.
Avoid long, complicated sentences. Avoid unclear, awkward sentences.
6. Use good grammar and punctuation.
7. Use a spelling checker (program, person, or both) to avoid
spelling errors that lower your credibility.
8. Use terms consistently throughout your writing. Avoid
alternate terms that you think add variety to your writing but instead confuse
Good: The vegetation pattern is the controlling
factor on the site. Vegetation includes
woody and herbaceous communities.
Bad: The vegetation pattern is the controlling
factor on the site. Plant life includes
woody and herbaceous communities.
9. Use English words and phrases rather than Latin words,
phrases, and abbreviations.
Good: Some vegetation types (such as crops, woodland,
and native grasses) require special management
for interpretive programs, wildlife habitat,
erosion control, and other special purposes.
Bad: Some vegetation types (e.g., crops, woodland,
native grasses, etc.) require special management
for interpretive programs, wildlife habitat,
erosion control, etc.
10. Ask someone to read your writing who can give you helpful
suggestions to improve your writing.
Handy Tips for Writers
1. Don't use no double negatives.
2. Make each pronoun agree with their antecedent.
3. Join clauses good, like a conjunction should.
4. About them sentence fragments.
5. When dangling, watch your participles.
6. Verbs has to agree with their subjects.
7. Just between you and I, case is important too.
8. Don't write run-on sentences that are too hard to understand because
of their length and complexity, just to name two reasons of many that could
9. Don't use commas, which aren't necessary.
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Last revision: 28 August 2000