Graduation Semester and Year




Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Landscape Architecture


Landscape Architecture

First Advisor

Pat D. Taylor


It has been argued that in order to bring about society's acceptance of sustainable landscape practices, landscape architects must make them transparent; that is, visible, and ultimately understandable, to the observer. Only when the members of society become familiar with these techniques do they move into the realm of aesthetic acceptability (Thayer 1994; Bohdanowicz 2005). But given that ecologically performative landscapes are often perceived as "messy" (Nassauer 2002, 196), a compatibility issue arises when considering implementation of such visible technologies within landscapes that require a high level of aesthetic refinement.This research examines perceptions of ecologically performative landscape practices held by general managers in resort hotel properties. These upscale properties offer a unique set of characteristics that make them particularly interesting in the realm of environmental concerns: an extensive amount of impermeable surface area; frequent proximity to natural amenities; high water and energy usage (Bohdanowicz 2005; Huffadine 2000, 84); and an elevated level of aesthetic expectations for the appearance of the resort property (Ayala 1991).To gather perceptions of five ecologically performative landscape practices (permeable paving, green roofs, retention and detention ponds, rainwater harvesting, and graywater recycling), qualitative methodology was employed to conduct interviews with general managers of seven resort hotel properties in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Transcripts of the interviews were analyzed according to Rogers' (2003, 219-266) theory regarding the diffusion of innovations. The data showed that general managers perceived the five practices as being appropriate for use in resort hotel properties. Concerns were raised regarding space requirements, initial cost, return on investment, city codes, and aesthetics. Some indicated that they preferred keep this type of practice hidden from guests, while others spoke about the importance of letting them be visible, both for the hotel's image and as a positive influence on guests. Overall, perceptions of the practices were favorable, but lack of time for adequate research and cost issues were frequently cited as a barrier to implementation.


Architecture | Landscape Architecture


Degree granted by The University of Texas at Arlington