This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Accounting for Preferences and Attitudes to Urban Trees and Residential Landscapes




Zheng, Bin

Type of Degree



Forest Economics and Policy


To explore individual’s preferences and attitudes toward the environment, this study used a survey method to analyze personal preferences toward the green space in single home communities. Survey was conducted at three levels: single housing landscapes, streetscapes and woodlots. Both on-line and in-class survey data were collected. ANOVA, logit model and other statistical methods were applied in the analyses. The results from our survey suggest that most people have similar preferences regarding residential landscapes aesthetic. There was no difference in preferences to residential landscapes between students and the general public. Significant differences were observed among respondents from different educational backgrounds, such as different academic disciplines, parents’ education level, and participation in environmental groups. Findings of this study also indicated that people in general prefer to live in neighborhoods with more trees. More specifically, individual preferred medium size trees with round shape of canopy. Most people showed a preference for a clean and well-maintained residential environment. However, education background made a significant difference in preference regarding to a wild/neat landscape design. Students majoring in history are less likely to choose “keep more naturalized landscape” comparing with Wildlife Science students. Results may provide helpful in the planning of future housing developments.