Institute of Ecosystem Studies

2007 BES Annual Meeting Presentation and Poster Abstracts

Linking household characterization to patterns of vegetation: urban tree canopy market analysis
Zhou, Weiqi
Co-Authors: Morgan Grove, Austin Troy
Abstract: A number of cities have developed urban tree canopy (UTC) goals to achieve a variety of ecological and social goals: Baltimore, Annapolis, New York City, and Boston. It is increasingly important from a theoretical and practical perspective to understand what combination of biophysical and social characteristics, at a parcel level, explain variations in existing and possible urban tree canopy cover for UTC in order to select sites and develop implementation strategies. In this analysis, we extend our previous theoretical work based upon an Ecology of Prestige theory by including additional types of social data (cognition, perceptions, and behaviors) and ecological data (HERCULES and NDVI). We use Baltimore as the prototype for this analysis by incorporating household and neighborhood characteristics obtained from the 2006 BES household telephone survey, combined with biophysical data derived from high-resolution spatial data, to predict the variations in 1) existing canopy, 2) existing lawn, and 3) possible canopy (lawn and impervious), for both residential private lands and public right of way. The predictors of possible and existing tree canopy we tested include 1) lifestyle characteristics represented by PRIZM classes, 2) housing characteristics such as housing age and property value, 3) individual perception indicators on social capital, environmental and social issues, and quality of life, and 4) behavior variables such as watershed activities, land management, and recreation. The practical application of this analysis is the development of a geodemographic market segmentation approach for UTC site selection and implementation.