Understanding the social determinants of lawn landscapes: A fine-resolution spatial statistical analysis in suburban Boston, Massachusetts, USA
This study examines the influence of social processes on the spatial distribution of residential lawns, one of the most prominent anthropogenic environmental challenges in US urban/suburban areas today. Specifically, we examine how three theoretically informed social drivers of urban vegetation patterns-population density, social stratification, and lifestyle behavior-explain two measures of residential lawns at the US Census block group (CBG) scale in suburban Boston, MA, USA. Using fine-spatial resolution (0.5. m) remotely sensed data, we map land cover from which we generate two lawn measures: (1) " percent lawn cover," which is the overall percentage of land in a CBG containing lawn, and (2) " percent lawn realized stewardship," which is the percentage of non-developed land in a CBG containing lawn. We use spatial regression to find that population density and lifestyle behavior, proxied by percentage of single-family detached homes, average household size, and percentage of protected land in the CBG-are the key social processes driving the spatial distribution of both lawn measures in our study area. Results also show that spatial regression provides theoretical insight into additional, unspecified processes influencing the spatial distribution of lawns, net of the effects of the independent variables. These findings contribute to the existing understanding of the social processes influencing the residential lawn landscape, and are therefore useful for scientists, decision-makers, and stakeholders who are interested in moderating the potential social and ecological impacts of this landscape. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.
Landscape and Urban Planning
Giner, Nicholas M.; Polsky, Colin; Pontius, Robert Gilmore; and Runfola, Daniel Miller, "Understanding the social determinants of lawn landscapes: A fine-resolution spatial statistical analysis in suburban Boston, Massachusetts, USA" (2013). Geography. 752.