Article Highlight | 2-Jun-2023

Thoughts on the planning and design of environmental education sites from the perspective of pro-environmental behavior intervention

Higher Education Press

Pro-environmental behavior (PEB) can help facilitate sustainable development, and PEB intervention strategies are developed to guarantee PEB effects. However, in most cases PEB intervention is attached less importance than environmental education. There is no specific programming for PEB intervention, and a full-cycle framework for planning and design that includes site operation and maintenance stages is still absent. Based on literature review and the authors’ experience on environment education activities, this article summarizes the PEB intervention strategies applicable to landscape planning and design, and comes up with a planning and design framework for environmental education sites, which consists of stages of site investigation, PEB intervention planning, development of design briefs, facility planning and design, maintenance and management programming, post-occupancy evaluation, and adjustment. The framework would provide guidance for the landscape planners and designers to improve PEB intervention effects, and offer new insights and tools for site operators and researchers.

This article provides suggestions on planning and design of environmental education sites from the perspective of PEB intervention. However, it sees limitations: 1) the PEB intervention strategies in this article are based on the findings of western researchers, which have not been widely applied in China; 2) given the significant variety among environmental education sites, the planning and design framework proposed in this article should be altered according to the actual conditions of the sites in practice; and 3) the framework is developed for multi-profession teams, which might limit its application and promotion.

At the same time, this article proposes several directions for future research and practice on the planning and design of environmental education sites. 1) Such projects generally cover a wide scope, among which PEB intervention planning and site operation are especially challenging for landscape designers. 2) To guarantee the realization of expected effects after project implementation, developing precise design briefs is critical. 3) No research has suggested that the PEB intervention effect in the wild (e.g. national parks, natural reserves) is better than that in artificial environments (e.g. community gardens, campuses), and designers are encouraged to pay attention to environmental education sites in built contexts. And 4) long-term project evaluation mechanism should be put in place to enhance the empirical research on PEB intervention, thereby improving the competence of the design profession in a systematic way.


Cite this article

Niu, M., & Zhong, L. (2022). Thoughts on the Planning and Design of Environmental Education Sites From the Perspective of Pro-Environmental Behavior Intervention. Landscape Architecture Frontiers, 10(6), 48‒67.


About Researchers

Niu Mujing, School of Architecture, Central Academy of Fine Arts

Zhong Le, College of Horticulture and Forestry Sciences, Huazhong Agricultural University


About Landscape Architecture Frontiers

Landscape Architecture Frontiers puts its focus on the intersecting spheres of academic research and design practice in landscape architecture, discussing new opinions, theories, and approaches to address environmental and ecological issues through Landscape Architecture; advocating new aesthetics and new culture which benefit the beauty of China and the world by introducing and promoting most recent practice of landscape architecture. It acts as a bridge connecting research and social needs, science and art, leading the development of the discipline. Our audience includes researchers and professional architects, faculties and students, policy makers in related fields, and people who work on the environmental constructions in both urban and rural areas.


About Higher Education Press

Founded in May 1954, Higher Education Press Limited Company (HEP), affiliated with the Ministry of Education, is one of the earliest institutions committed to educational publishing after the establishment of P. R. China in 1949. After striving for six decades, HEP has developed into a major comprehensive publisher, with products in various forms and at different levels. Both for import and export, HEP has been striving to fill in the gap of domestic and foreign markets and meet the demand of global customers by collaborating with more than 200 partners throughout the world and selling products and services in 32 languages globally. Now, HEP ranks among China's top publishers in terms of copyright export volume and the world's top 50 largest publishing enterprises in terms of comprehensive strength.

The Frontiers Journals series published by HEP includes 28 English academic journals, covering the largest academic fields in China at present. Among the series, 12 have been indexed by SCI, 6 by EI, 2 by MEDLINE, 1 by A&HCI. HEP's academic monographs have won about 300 different kinds of publishing funds and awards both at home and abroad.

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