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Human Environment Interactions within a Controlled Landscaping Experiment

Funded by the ASU College of Liberal Arts and Sciences & the Central Arizona-Phoenix Long-Term Ecological Research Project (CAP-LTER)

The goal of this project is to add a rich social science component to an already-existing, multidisciplinary experiment of human and environment interactions. The aim of this project is to study the reciprocal relationships between humans and different types of residential landscaping regimes. Researchers at ASU’s Global Institute of Sustainability (GIOS) and Central Arizona-Phoenix Long Term Ecological Research (CAP-LTER) project have secured an agreement with the ASU-East campus to landscape selected clusters of faculty, staff, and family housing. After a period of pre-treatment measurement of both human and environmental factors, clusters of residences were assigned different landscaping treatments. After treatment was assigned to groups of houses, there is planned measurement of both human and biophysical variation. This will allow us to examine the effects of different landscaping styles on human behavior, human attitudes, and environmental response.

Our effort draws its conceptual focus from an interdisciplinary literature in individuals’ landscape preferences and behavior. This literature suggests how people respond to different natural and human-altered landscapes; salient demographic, socio-economic, and cultural characteristics that shape human interaction with their environments; and appropriate methods for measuring environmental values and landscape attitudes and behaviors. The primary goals of this exploratory project are (1) to establish a baseline set of personal characteristics and landscape attitudes and behaviors that influence residents’ perceptions of and responses to the different landscape treatments and (2) to monitor changes in these variables.

CePoD Involvement: Scott Yabiku (Principal Investigator), Patricia Gober (co-Investigator), Sharon Harlan (co-Investigator)

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T. Denny Sanford School of Social and Family Dynamics
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