Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

Landscape and Urban Planning


Living laboratories are increasingly employed to support campus sustainability and student learning. This research explored how living labs are defined in relation to the biophysical landscape, how they are integrated into teaching and learning, how students are engaged, and how they connect to university sustainability goals. Previous reviews focus on living laboratories or learning landscapes, but no prior review has explored the application of these concepts specifically to the biophysical landscape of university campuses. We employed a scoping review which resulted in 28 articles for analysis. Projects most consistently employed the terms “learning landscapes,” “sustainable campus landscape,” and “adaptive co-management” as articulations of living laboratories that integrate campus physical landscapes. Students have been engaged in design, planning, installation, stewardship, monitoring, and management of campus landscapes through courses, research, and co-curricular activities. The majority of projects engaged with landscapes as living laboratories through environmental science, design, and other allied disciplines. Other disciplines could also engage with landscapes as living laboratories to promote sustainability. Projects also could more explicitly connect faculty and student engagement with broader campus sustainability goals and plans. More consistent application of terms may help other universities to determine the best actions for their campus when incorporating landscapes into living laboratories.


This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (

Published in Landscape and Urban Planning by Elsevier. Available via doi: 10.1016/j.landurbplan.2021.104259.