Behzad Mirzaei Yeganeh

Landscape Design and Social Sustainability in Residential Complexes

Landscape Design and Social Sustainability in Residential Complexes: Place-based Indicators of Social Sustainability in Public Open Spaces of Residential Complexes- Case Studies of Tehran

Approved proposal for the Ph.D. thesis (Tarbiat Modares University)

Behzad Mirzaei Yeganeh

Abstract: This research will discuss how landscape design can bring back the concept of social life and human communities' sustainability to the open spaces between residential buildings. As some social sustainability dimensions are beyond the scope of landscape design, this study focuses on the place-based indicators of social sustainability. Desk research and case studies within Tehran's city will be conducted to analyze paradigms of landscape and the formation of major elements of the landscape in promoting social sustainability in residential areas.
This is an applied developmental study, offering solutions to the existing social sustainability issues, which at least some solutions are applicable to the challenges alike. In this regard, descriptive-analytic research will be conducted.
Identifying the key indicators of social sustainability in landscape architecture, the factors strengthening or limiting these will be analyzed. Design paradigms that improve the interaction of buildings and open spaces and apply landscape elements to enhance social behavior patterns, create a better link between behavioral patterns and spaces, and promote social interactions in landscape design.
The research will provide recommendations and paradigms on shaping objective elements of the landscape that are in harmony with the subjective patterns- a physical space that strengthens the place-based indicators of social sustainability in the open spaces. Finally, a theoretical framework on the role of landscape in the social sustainability of the residential complexes will be presented.
Keywords: Social Sustainability, Landscape Design, Place-Based Indicators, Open Space Design


A presentation of the research in ECLAS 2019

Contact me for more information or any suggestions.

Isfahan Garde City

Cityscape Design and Utilization of Socio-Cultural Ecosystem Services in Iranian Garden City.

Investigating in the Relationship between cityscape design and Utilization of Socio-Cultural Ecosystem Services in Iranian Garden City

Mehdi Haghighat Bin
Behzad Mirzaei Yeganeh

Abstract: A significant amount of socio-cultural services of urban ecosystems emerge in parks, as part of urban open spaces. In this article at first, the goals and functions of urban parks have been studied, and secondly, their role in ensuring the physical and mental health of citizens and also the goals of landscape architecture in contemporary parks have been investigated to increase the use of the ecosystem services. The field method and questions from the elites have been used for data collection. Ecosystem socio-cultural services are prioritized based on their importance in the design of urban parks.
In the following, the Iranian Garden City has introduced and explained the usage of ecosystem services in it. Different types of gardens and open spaces in Garden City have been evaluated in terms of socio-cultural services of the ecosystem through questions from elites. Then, Isfahan has been studied in detail by using historical sources and documents in the Safavid era.
The results of this article which have been done by the descriptive-analytical method show how socio-cultural services of the ecosystem in Iranian Garden City increased by using open and semi-open urban spaces and inventing Tajir as a factor enhancing physical and visual permeability in the cityscape.
Journal link:

sustainable landscape Behzad Mirzaei Yeganeh

Objectives, Principles and Solutions for sustainable landscape: Case Study of “The Center for Sustainable Landscapes” (CSL)


Determining the principles of sustainable landscape design and providing practical solutions based on the framework of these principles are required actions to promote sustainability in the human-built landscapes and environments. In this research, we first discuss the interaction of macro-level and micro-level goals for a sustainable landscape. Then, sustainable landscape design methods, principles, and dimensions are discussed. Landscape scholars point to aesthetic aspects, experiences, and ethics in a sustainable landscape in addition to the environmental, economic, and social foundations of sustainable development. In the sequel, some practical strategies of the sustainable landscape are mentioned and categorized based on the scientific basis of sustainable landscapes. The results obtained in the field of theoretical dimensions and practical solutions for a sustainable landscape context have been measured in the case study of “the Center for Sustainable Landscapes (CSL) at Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens,” which has been introduced as a successful sustainable landscape project. By examining the various dimensions of sustainability in this successful project, it is inferred that various practical solutions for all of these dimensions have been foreseen to be able to play a role in this regard. As a result, a sustainable landscape has multi-dimensional foundations that should consider them in the stage of setting goals and providing practical solutions to design more sustainable and efficient landscapes.

Full-text language: Persian

Paper link:

Conference page:

Sustainability in landscape curriculum

Investigating the education for sustainability in official landscape architecture masters programmes

An Investigation of Sustainability in Post Graduate Landscape Architecture Programs

Behzad Mirzaei Yeganeh & Kianoush Suzanchi

Conference Programme Page:

Extended abstract:

As landscape architects, we are concerned with the future of development, management, and protection of our landscapes. We believe that sustainable development and human well-being are fundamental to our work as designers. In order to protect and further develop our landscapes, sustainability issues should be one of the major concerns. Education can provide a solid foundation for sustainability and can spreads sustainability concerns and knowledge among landscape designers. According to the “IFLA/UNESCO Charter for landscape architectural education”, Educational programs should promote landscape architectural design which considers the cost of future maintenance, life-cycle costing, and site sustainability (IFLA, 2012). As "Sustainable Architectural Education White Paper” suggests: “Sustainable environmental design should be seen as a priority in the education of building practitioners from the beginning of their studies and through to continuing professional development” (Altomonte, 2012).

One of the most simple and widely used definitions of sustainability comes from the Brundtland Commission as “meeting the needs of today’s population without diminishing the ability of future populations to meet their needs.” The concept of a sustainable landscape also has been a controversial Idea. The Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture (CELA) published a definition or sustainable landscapes in 1988: sustainable landscapes “contribute to human well-being and at the same time are in harmony with the natural environment. They do not deplete or damage other ecosystems. While human activity will have altered native patterns, a sustainable landscape will work with native conditions in its structure and functions. Valuable resources—water, nutrients, soil, etcetera—and energy will be conserved, diversity of species will be maintained or increased” CELA (Thayer, 1989). The aim of landscape architecture declared by “ECLAS Guidance on Landscape Architecture Education” is to create, enhance, maintain, and protect spaces so as to be functional, aesthetically pleasing, meaningful and “sustainable” while appropriate to diverse human needs and goals. Landscape architects are concerned with the variety of facets of sustainable development, sustainable management of natural resources, sustainable use and management of cultural landscapes, and many other aspects of sustainability (Bruns et al., 2010).

Exploring and studying the indicators of landscape sustainability is necessary for sustainability-friendly education in universities. Traditionally, the three pillars of sustainability are: Economy, Society, and Environment. In landscape research and practice, scientists have reinterpreted the definition of sustainable development in order to include the holistic basis of landscapes. For example, designers emphasize that more attention needs to be paid to the aesthetic, experiential, and ethical issues. Given this, one can argue that aesthetics or beauty, experience, and ethics, are the fourth, fifth, and sixth pillars of the landscape sustainability (Musacchio, 2009).

Landscapes represent the most operational scale for understanding and shaping the relationship between the society and environment, or ecology and ecosystem services (Wu, 2013). One of the biggest challenges in landscape education will be the question of how to operationalize the environmental, economic, equity, aesthetic, experiential, and ethical aspects of landscape sustainability in landscape research and practice. The focus of landscape education programs must be on all aspects of sustainability. Educational qualifications to practice in the field of landscape architecture should be based on a vision that is sensitive to the diverse needs of sustainability. Therefore an approach to landscape planning and design interventions must be developed that enhances social sustainability, cultural and aesthetic needs, as well as the physical requirements of people (IFLA, 2012).

We believe that the emphasis of the curriculum in sustainability-oriented landscape architecture programs should be placed on all aspects of sustainability. Admitting the importance of sustainability goals in Master programs of landscape architecture, this study explores the following items in the curricula for selected universities:

-       Is landscape sustainability considered as a separate course in the curricula?

-       Is the subject of sustainability mentioned in some curriculum of courses?

-       Does the curriculum focus on diverse accept of sustainability?

Exploring the role of sustainability in post-graduate programs in landscape architecture, we have conducted a review of the curricula of 24 landscape architecture programs around the globe. The programs were selected from different geographical regions based on university rankings by QS World University Rankings (Collier, 2018), DessignIntelligence 2018 Landscape Architecture Program Rankings (DesignIntelligence, 2018), Keystone Academic Solutions ("Best Master's Degree in Landscape Architecture," 2019) and accredited university programs by the Canadian Society of Landscape Architects (CSLA, 2018). This review includes the following institutions: Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), University of California, Berkeley (UCB), Harvard University, The Bartlett School of Architecture: UCL (University College London), Delft University of Technology, ETH Zurich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology), National University of Singapore (NUS), Tsinghua University, University of Hong Kong (HKU), The University of Melbourne, The University of New South Wales (UNSW), University of Cape Town, Cornell University, University of Pennsylvania, University of  British Columbia, University of  Guelph ,University of  Manitoba, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Estonian University of Life Sciences, Latvia University of Life Sciences and Technologies, Cracow University of Technology, Czech University of Life Sciences (CULS), Universidade da Coruña and CEPT University

The study demonstrates that landscape sustainability is not available as a separate course in the official curricula of any of the above-mentioned institutions. Meaning “sustainability in landscape architecture” does not exist as a stand-alone topic in these master programs of landscape architecture. However, ecology and sustainability have been mentioned in the content of a few courses such as landscape ecology, landscape protection and Sustainable environmental technologies as a part of Master of Landscape Architecture programs. Among all programs, only a few courses were designed with a focus on sustainability. The only aspect of sustainability considered in these courses was ecological impacts.  It is worth noting while this study evaluated the title and the content of courses in curricula, the concept of sustainability may have been introduced by the lecturers.

The authors suggest “sustainability in landscape architecture” to be considered as a separate course or a chapter in similar courses in related master programs. The topic can raise awareness and make researchers more sensitive to sustainability-related issues. In addition to this, sustainability should be integral to the vision of the curriculum. This can help to establish goals related to sustainability in different courses such as landscape architecture design studios. Focus on sustainability should be extended to all aspects of sustainability and not limited to ecological headlines. Considering landscape sustainability and landscape design, the master programs should include sociocultural, economical, aesthetical, experimental, and ethical aspects of sustainability in curricula of landscape architecture. Finally, it is recommended that landscape sustainability be incorporated in teaching contents, thesis, and research activities as a significant concept in landscape architecture programs.



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Musacchio, L. R. (2009). The scientific basis for the design of landscape sustainability: A conceptual framework for translational landscape research and practice of designed landscapes and the six Es of landscape sustainability. Landscape Ecology, 24(8), 993. doi:10.1007/s10980-009-9396-y

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Roe, M., & Rowe, M. (2000). THE COMMUNITY AND THE LANDSCAPE PROFESSIONAL. In J. F. Benson. & M. Roe (Eds.), Landscape and Sustainability (pp. 237-265). Oxon: Taylor & Francis.

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Comparative study of water utilization as one of the landscape elements in traditional gardens

Comparative study of water utilization as one of the landscape elements in traditional gardens of Iran, the Far East (China and Japan), and the West (Renaissance and Baroque)


Behzad Mirzaei Yeganeh

Abstract: In different cultures, the way individuals look at nature is influenced by their worldview. The myths and symbols that exist about nature and its elements represent the attitude towards the natural elements in each civilization. The natural elements used in ancient gardens have been influenced in many ways by that culture's perspective on nature. One of the most basic natural elements that have played a key role in forming human civilizations is water, which has its own myths and symbols in each culture. As one of the most basic natural elements in gardening methods, water has been used in a special way in each culture and has played a crucial role in shaping the garden's structure. Here, we examine the perspectives on nature and the element of water in the cultures that created the three types of gardening: "Far Eastern Gardening", "Iranian Gardening," and " the Western Baroque and Renaissance Gardens." In the Far East civilizations, water is considered a sacred element and, like other elements of nature, is worthy of respect and coexist with mountains and rocks. The symbolic representation of this coexistence is manifested in landscape paintings in the form of waterfalls. This respect for nature, along with myths such as dragons and sacred rivers, is consistent with the effects of water displays in the gardens of this culture. The value and sanctity of water are seen both in ancient Iran's myths (such as Anahita and Tishter) and in post-Islamic religious allegories in this land. These values also influence patterns of water use in the Persian gardens. After the Renaissance, the humanistic and rational view was also influential in the attitude towards the elements of nature and water in western countries. The theatrical manifestations of water and the showing of human domination over natural elements, including water in the Renaissance and Baroque gardens, are among its characteristics. In each of the three mentioned gardening methods, the effect of using the crucial element of water in gardens can be understood from the type of attitude of that culture.

The way water is used in traditional gardens is not only affected by climatic and environmental characteristics in each of the studied civilizations. It is also influenced by the type of view of nature, myths, and related symbols, as well as cultural patterns. In the conclusion of this research, a summary of studies on looking at the natural elements of the landscape, water, and its application in three types of gardening is presented in a table.
Keywords: Water in Gardens, Far East Gardens, Iranian Gardens, Renaissance Gardens, Baroque Gardens

This research has conducted during a landscape Ph.D. course (Seminar 1) and has not published yet.
For more information contact me.

Iranian Garden Typology, Based On Form and Elements

Iranian Garden Typology, Based On Form and Elements

Behzad Mirzaei Yeganeh

Abstract: The Persian garden is one of the oldest and most important formal (geometric) gardens in the world that is still alive. This kind of garden has appeared in different forms during its continuity in history, at different times and places. One of the ways to better understand the Persian garden is to study its typology. In this article, the Iranian garden division is conducted for further recognition, and it does not necessarily mean these types are entirely different.

The Persian garden can be classified in two ways: one by form or components and the other by function. In this research, Iranian garden species are introduced based on the first division - that is, based on form or elements. For a better recognition, various plans of Iranian gardens have been introduced as examples of each type. Finally, a table of general characteristics of Iranian gardens' typology based on components and form is presented.


This research has conducted during a Ph.D. course named: "Typology and Evaluation of Persian Garden" and has not published yet.

For more information contact me.

Impressions on Contemporary Architecture

Impressions on Contemporary Architecture: Iran and the World, 1850 to Present

Book Title: Impressions on Contemporary Architecture: Iran and the World, 1850 to Present

Author: Behzad Mirzaei Yeganeh

Year: 2016

Language: Persian

ISBN: 978-600-04-8866- 6

Place Published: Tehran

Publisher: MemariMarket

Number of Pages: 400

Book title in Persian: نگاهی به معماری معاصر جهان و ایران؛ از ١۵٠ سال گذشته تا کنون

Abstract: In this book, we overview the ideas and practical efforts in contemporary architecture since 150 years ago, both the global efforts that have influenced today's architecture and the architecture of our homeland, Iran. In this way, we have borrowed from many researchers and professors' writings, the list of which is mentioned in the text or the last sources of the book.
Another concern in preparing this collection was the teaching of architecture, which the author has been involved in for several years in academic circles. The starting point of this work was a textbook that had been prepared for students' study since 2010. Therefore, many of the topics have been selected for the university course of introduction to contemporary architecture.



Toward a new architecture and landscape design with utilizing eco-parks

Toward a New Architecture and Landscape Design with Utilizing Eco-Parks, Case Study of Setia Alam

Authors: Behzad Mirzaei Yeganeh, Nehzat Jalal Kamali
Towards New Architecture, International Conference, Tehran, 2009

Extended Abstract:

Iran, as a developing country, lacks some factors of urban design. Eco-park, as an urban design system, is one of the needs of today's urban areas. Eco-park helps maintain the area's ecological balance and creates awareness in public regarding the need for conservation of biodiversity. Such eco-parks can attract people towards tourism too. Residential eco-park, based on green architecture and sustainable architecture, is a new pattern of settlement.

Setia Alam eco-park in Malaysia, as one of the most successful award-winning projects, can help establish a good example in all developing countries such as Iran. In this article, the essential design ideas of this eco-park have been explored. Energizing by solar power, respect for Mother Nature and ecosystem, recycled and locally sourced materials, and a low-carbon development are some sustainable features that have been considered in this residential project.

There was a need to adopt a methodology for this research to link qualitative and quantitative data as well as qualitative observations of the site. In order to do so, various methods were chosen to clarify the existing situation of Setia Alam Eco-Park. Three methods are used in this research; after interviewing the consultants of the project, Setia Eco-park was observed for more investigation. Reviewing articles and documents complemented the whole work.
Considering the factors which are taken into consideration in the design of this Eco-park,it can be seen that apart from appropriate usage of solar energy, low carbon development, and the stunning well-designed landscaping, all the factors complement each other in a way that not only the functionality of the project as a whole is achieved, but also the project has aesthetics values. This can be seen in concealing the rainwater-harvesting system as an example. This project is an environmentally inspired architectural development with an emphasis on sustainability and energy-efficient elements. The development blends well with the tropical surroundings, and best describes what tropical resort living is with respect for Mother Nature.

Iran, with different climates, has a high potential for creating eco-parks. The green areas of the north and Kish and Qeshm Islands in the south seem to be proper places for this purpose. Thus, creating eco-parks in these areas can be a good start toward utilizing eco-parks in Iran. The development of houses with a low-density rate, amidst a carefully crafted eco-landscape, is suggested to maximize appreciation and awareness of the native flora and fauna. It is also recommended that all the utility services, such as Electricity and telephone cabling systems and drainage systems, be concealed underground to sustain more harmony with the nature of the site. 
Focused on environmentally conscious design methods, The appropriate usage of natural ventilation, Usage of Materials with Long Life and Low Maintenance, the optimized usage of the solar energy and rainwater-harvesting system has been suggested to be improved further developed in future regarding the different climates in Iran.


Keywords: Eco-park, Low carbon, Solar power, Landscape design


Certificate for the printed abstract

Open Architecture as a Step Towards Sustainable Architecture

Open Architecture as a Step Towards Sustainable Architecture

Behzad Mirzaei Yeganeh
The second research conference of Islamic Azad University, Dolatabad Branch, Isfahan, 2010


Open architecture is a method to create a flexible architecture that can adapt to changing conditions of living patterns or changes in land use. In this method, the building's design is divided into two main parts: the interiors that may change over time and the base building, which is the bedrock that can respond to various changes in the internal structure and changes in the long run in technology and installation subdivisions. The main issue in this design method is how to design the environment and buildings that are both long-lasting and adapt to changes (to meet individuals' needs)?

The demolition and renovation methods to meet today's needs consumes a lot of resources and impose a considerable burden on the environment. Some measures increase the building's useful life in the open building method while meeting changing needs. By utilizing this method, steps can be taken to achieve sustainable architecture.

In this study, by examining case studies, we have concluded that the principles of creating a free building are entirely consistent with the goals of architectural sustainability.


Certificate of presentation in the conference,