Property parcel characteristics help understand urban vegetation patterns

Authors: Adam Berland*, Ball State University, Dexter Locke, USDA Forest Service, Kirsten Schwarz, University of California, Los Angeles, Dustin Herrmann, University of California, Riverside
Topics: Environment, Spatial Analysis & Modeling, Land Use
Keywords: urban forestry, tree canopy cover, social-ecological systems, property parcels
Session Type: Virtual Paper
Day: 4/10/2021
Start / End Time: 11:10 AM / 12:25 PM
Room: Virtual 33
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Urban vegetation studies have often operated under the assumption that more abundant vegetation translates to more social-ecological benefits. Recent scholarship has recognized the need to consider both vegetation abundance and vegetation quality when assessing the desirability of urban vegetation. This is particularly true in areas of disinvestment where overgrown vegetation can be abundant yet undesirable. While vegetation abundance can be quantified using established techniques, the perceived quality of vegetation is more difficult to measure and may vary with neighborhood context. Parcel condition surveys are an emerging source of data on perceived vegetation quality. In this study, we examine the connections among property parcel characteristics, vegetation quantity, and vegetation quality using data from a comprehensive parcel condition survey in Toledo, OH. Specifically, we evaluate the effects of occupancy status and land owner types on vegetation quantity and perceived quality. Results indicate that vegetation patterns vary according to both occupancy status and owner types, pointing to the importance of parcel-scale land management regimes for vegetation outcomes at the neighborhood scale.

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