Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA)


Landscape Architecture

Document Type



Since the end of World War II, many American cities have seen an outward migration from their core into open spaces along the city’s edge. The urban/suburban sprawl phenomenon not only affects urban cores but the rural lands and open spaces surrounding them. As landscape architects, we study humans and their interactions with the environment and have an important position in making informed decisions about issues of sprawl and unmitigated growth in communities. This study was conducted to provide city and parish officials and planning boards with options for beneficial growth in St. Landry Parish, a rural parish in south central Louisiana. A study of Smart Growth and its ten principles was completed. Also, three areas – Lancaster County Pennsylvania, Talbot County Maryland and the Wasatch Area in Utah - were examined for comparison and insight on how suburban sprawl had been mitigated in their communities. Recommendations for a comprehensive growth plan in St. Landry Parish were made based on the analysis of Smart Growth principles and case studies. It was determined that three Smart Growth principles would benefit the rural character and sense of place in St. Landry Parish. The principles were (1) preserve open space, farmland, natural beauty, and critical environmental areas (2) strengthen and direct development towards existing communities and (3) foster distinctive, attractive communities with a strong sense of place. Community involvement in the planning process and the establishment of community vision and goals were highly encouraged. Smart Growth can be used as a step stone in the planning process for St. Landry Parish.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Sadik Artunc