Mortgages and Maintenance: Characteristics of Greenness Change in an Urban Desert Landscape

Authors: Joshua Randall*, North Carolina State University, Bethany Cutts, North Carolina State University, Jelena Vukomanovic, North Carolina State University, Michael Minn, Farmingdale State College, Jonathan Greenberg, University of Nevada-Reno
Topics: Spatial Analysis & Modeling, Urban Geography, Land Use and Land Cover Change
Keywords: Greenness, Foreclosures, Spatial Modeling, Urban Landscapes, Land Cover Change
Session Type: Poster
Day: 4/11/2018
Start / End Time: 1:20 PM / 3:00 PM
Room: Napoleon Foyer/Common St. Corridor, Sheraton, 3rd Floor
Presentation File: Download


The 2000’s housing crisis and subsequent foreclosures drastically altered the landscape of urban property ownership in Maricopa County, AZ. Previous research has shown changes in lawn management due to foreclosures have noticeable effects on greenness levels at a parcel scale. However, there is little research on the spatial variability of greenness change in relation to foreclosures, and in particular the drivers of changing greenness. Identifying these drivers is vital to understanding the impact of sudden management changes across a variable urban landscape. Both the spatial variability and the characteristics of the drivers of greenness change provide context. To identify the importance of foreclosures specifically, this study analyzes the spatial patterns of foreclosure areas and social factors in relation to greenness change. Population and household characteristics along with foreclosure area estimates were used as factors determining greenness change in Maricopa County from 2002 to 2014. Both comparative greenness and change in greenness for 895 census tracts were calculated. Global spatial relationships were analyzed with spatially dependant regressions. Spatial patterns of explanatory variables across the study area were defined by geographically weighted regressions (GWR). The results showed strong spatial dependence of certain variables to change in greenness, such as household income and house age. Additionally, foreclosure rates are important in explaining greenness trends in Maricopa County for the time period. The significant spatial variability in drivers of variability can help explain locally explicit policy initiatives for managing greenness in Maricopa County, as well as where foreclosures are important in explaining greenness change.

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