Social–Spatial Analyses of Attitudes toward the Desert in a Southwestern U.S. City

Riley Andrade, Kelli Larson, David Hondula, Janet Franklin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Land change due to urbanization often results in the loss of desert ecosystems. The loss of desert land affects ecological and social processes in arid cities, such as habitat provisioning, the extent and intensity of the urban heat island, and outdoor recreation opportunities. Understanding the human–environment dynamics associated with environmental change is critical to understanding and managing the implications of urban growth. Few studies, however, have empirically examined people’s attitudes about hot, arid environments such as deserts. The primary objectives of our study are to (1) identify how patterns of attitudes are spatially distributed throughout neighborhoods in metropolitan Phoenix, Arizona, and (2) determine how attitudes toward the desert are shaped by social and environmental attributes. We found that desert attitudes are spatially clustered throughout neighborhoods. Positive views of the desert are fortified in high-income areas and those near preserved desert parks, whereas negative attitudes are clustered in areas associated with lower socioeconomic status and in neighborhoods with relatively grassy landscaping. Negative perceptions toward the desert are stronger among Latino residents and in low-income neighborhoods, where environmental hazards, especially extreme heat, and the perceived risks associated with such hazards are more prominent. Overall, we found that factors shaping attitudes in arid landscapes, including socioeconomic status and social identity, are similar to those that shape attitudes toward urban forests and greenspace in more temperate environments. Understanding attitudes toward the desert can help strengthen the connection between the regional environment and the local community, ultimately encouraging land preservation in arid cities. Key Words: deserts, environmental attitudes, extreme heat, open space, vulnerability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAnnals of the American Association of Geographers
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

desert
heat
socioeconomic status
social status
greenspace
city
income
temperate environment
outdoor recreation
landscape management
environmental hazard
heat island
arid environment
open space
urban growth
social process
recreation
habitat
urbanization
environmental change

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Earth-Surface Processes

Cite this

@article{4b59b3389c5c4e7fb77cb6fb2eeb7f70,
title = "Social–Spatial Analyses of Attitudes toward the Desert in a Southwestern U.S. City",
abstract = "Land change due to urbanization often results in the loss of desert ecosystems. The loss of desert land affects ecological and social processes in arid cities, such as habitat provisioning, the extent and intensity of the urban heat island, and outdoor recreation opportunities. Understanding the human–environment dynamics associated with environmental change is critical to understanding and managing the implications of urban growth. Few studies, however, have empirically examined people’s attitudes about hot, arid environments such as deserts. The primary objectives of our study are to (1) identify how patterns of attitudes are spatially distributed throughout neighborhoods in metropolitan Phoenix, Arizona, and (2) determine how attitudes toward the desert are shaped by social and environmental attributes. We found that desert attitudes are spatially clustered throughout neighborhoods. Positive views of the desert are fortified in high-income areas and those near preserved desert parks, whereas negative attitudes are clustered in areas associated with lower socioeconomic status and in neighborhoods with relatively grassy landscaping. Negative perceptions toward the desert are stronger among Latino residents and in low-income neighborhoods, where environmental hazards, especially extreme heat, and the perceived risks associated with such hazards are more prominent. Overall, we found that factors shaping attitudes in arid landscapes, including socioeconomic status and social identity, are similar to those that shape attitudes toward urban forests and greenspace in more temperate environments. Understanding attitudes toward the desert can help strengthen the connection between the regional environment and the local community, ultimately encouraging land preservation in arid cities. Key Words: deserts, environmental attitudes, extreme heat, open space, vulnerability.",
author = "Riley Andrade and Kelli Larson and David Hondula and Janet Franklin",
year = "2019",
month = "1",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1080/24694452.2019.1580498",
language = "English (US)",
journal = "Annals of the American Association of Geographers",
issn = "2469-4452",
publisher = "Taylor and Francis Ltd.",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Social–Spatial Analyses of Attitudes toward the Desert in a Southwestern U.S. City

AU - Andrade, Riley

AU - Larson, Kelli

AU - Hondula, David

AU - Franklin, Janet

PY - 2019/1/1

Y1 - 2019/1/1

N2 - Land change due to urbanization often results in the loss of desert ecosystems. The loss of desert land affects ecological and social processes in arid cities, such as habitat provisioning, the extent and intensity of the urban heat island, and outdoor recreation opportunities. Understanding the human–environment dynamics associated with environmental change is critical to understanding and managing the implications of urban growth. Few studies, however, have empirically examined people’s attitudes about hot, arid environments such as deserts. The primary objectives of our study are to (1) identify how patterns of attitudes are spatially distributed throughout neighborhoods in metropolitan Phoenix, Arizona, and (2) determine how attitudes toward the desert are shaped by social and environmental attributes. We found that desert attitudes are spatially clustered throughout neighborhoods. Positive views of the desert are fortified in high-income areas and those near preserved desert parks, whereas negative attitudes are clustered in areas associated with lower socioeconomic status and in neighborhoods with relatively grassy landscaping. Negative perceptions toward the desert are stronger among Latino residents and in low-income neighborhoods, where environmental hazards, especially extreme heat, and the perceived risks associated with such hazards are more prominent. Overall, we found that factors shaping attitudes in arid landscapes, including socioeconomic status and social identity, are similar to those that shape attitudes toward urban forests and greenspace in more temperate environments. Understanding attitudes toward the desert can help strengthen the connection between the regional environment and the local community, ultimately encouraging land preservation in arid cities. Key Words: deserts, environmental attitudes, extreme heat, open space, vulnerability.

AB - Land change due to urbanization often results in the loss of desert ecosystems. The loss of desert land affects ecological and social processes in arid cities, such as habitat provisioning, the extent and intensity of the urban heat island, and outdoor recreation opportunities. Understanding the human–environment dynamics associated with environmental change is critical to understanding and managing the implications of urban growth. Few studies, however, have empirically examined people’s attitudes about hot, arid environments such as deserts. The primary objectives of our study are to (1) identify how patterns of attitudes are spatially distributed throughout neighborhoods in metropolitan Phoenix, Arizona, and (2) determine how attitudes toward the desert are shaped by social and environmental attributes. We found that desert attitudes are spatially clustered throughout neighborhoods. Positive views of the desert are fortified in high-income areas and those near preserved desert parks, whereas negative attitudes are clustered in areas associated with lower socioeconomic status and in neighborhoods with relatively grassy landscaping. Negative perceptions toward the desert are stronger among Latino residents and in low-income neighborhoods, where environmental hazards, especially extreme heat, and the perceived risks associated with such hazards are more prominent. Overall, we found that factors shaping attitudes in arid landscapes, including socioeconomic status and social identity, are similar to those that shape attitudes toward urban forests and greenspace in more temperate environments. Understanding attitudes toward the desert can help strengthen the connection between the regional environment and the local community, ultimately encouraging land preservation in arid cities. Key Words: deserts, environmental attitudes, extreme heat, open space, vulnerability.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85065645884&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85065645884&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1080/24694452.2019.1580498

DO - 10.1080/24694452.2019.1580498

M3 - Article

JO - Annals of the American Association of Geographers

JF - Annals of the American Association of Geographers

SN - 2469-4452

ER -