Attitudes toward Residential Trees and Awareness of Tree Services and Disservices in a Tropical City

Sofia Olivero-Lora, Elvia Meléndez-Ackerman, Luis Santiago, Raúl Santiago-Bartolomei, Diana García-Montiel
2019 Sustainability  
Attitudes toward urban residential trees and awareness of their ecosystem services and disservices may play an important role in management decisions of private residential green spaces with important consequences to urban sustainability. In 2011, 397 household surveys were conducted in six locations of the Río Piedras Watershed (San Juan, Puerto Rico) to evaluate residents' attitudes toward residential and neighborhood trees and their association with household socio-demographic factors, how
more » ... phic factors, how awareness of services and disservices relate to the spatial proximity of trees (home versus neighborhood), and whether attitudes are associated with yard management (tree abundance). Most residents self-reported positive attitudes toward trees in general and these appeared to be more frequent than self-reported negative attitudes. Respondents recognized more tree services (emphasizing shade, lower temperature, food, and ornamental/aesthetics) and fewer disservices (emphasizing maintenance hardship, property damage, and power line obstruction). Not all tree services and disservices were equally recognized, and differences in the spatial context of trees and residents may contribute to the variation in residents' awareness of tree ecosystem services or disservices. Variation in positive attitudes partially explained the current variation in yard tree abundance, along with residents' age, housing tenure, yard size, and watershed location. Results have direct implications for urban forest planning and management in residential contexts.
doi:10.3390/su12010117 fatcat:h2m2zzu2fvdqvol4lx5htwnvqu