Do Trees Count? Residents’ Understanding and Interest in Living Green Infrastructure

Authors: Tenley Conway*, University of Toronto
Topics: Coupled Human and Natural Systems, Human-Environment Geography, Environment
Keywords: Green infrastructure, Urban Forests, Residential Landscapes
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/3/2019
Start / End Time: 12:40 PM / 2:20 PM
Room: Congressional A, Omni, West
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

Researchers, practitioners, and policy-makers across North America have recently adopted the term ‘green infrastructure’ to reflect the importance services that trees and other vegetation provide in urban ecosystems. To support an urban green infrastructure approach, policies and programs have been adopted to increase its presence on both public and private land. As a result, residents are often expected to play a central role in installing and maintaining green infrastructure, including trees and shrubs. While the term green infrastructure has been rapidly adopted by experts, it is unclear if urban residents are familiar with it or willing to install green infrastructure on their property. This presentation will examine residents’ knowledge and interest through a survey of residents in Toronto, (ON, Canada). Results suggest that most residents are not familiar with the term or define it in ways that do not include trees, which is at odds with local policy. Additional results associated with residents’ interests and variation among residents will also be discussed. The presentation will end by considering the challenges of using the term green infrastructure in light of our results.

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