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University of Arizona (1988)

Public values in urban riparian land use

Simcox, David Edward

Titre : Public values in urban riparian land use.

Auteur : Simcox, David Edward

Université de soutenance : University of Arizona

Grade : Doctor of Philosophy (1988)

Riparian wetlands are among the most valuable landscapes in the arid southwest. Since they are sources for water and green vegetation, they are unique compared to surrounding desert landscapes. They also offer the potential for a wide range of commodity and non-commodity based land uses. In a rapidly urbanizing setting, commodity based uses such as housing, retail, and industrial development often come into conflict with non-commodity based uses such as recreation and wildlife, water and nature preservation. The purpose of this study was to deduce public value orientations toward the rapidly urbanizing riparian landscapes of Tucson, Arizona through an assessment of residents’ attitudes and perceptions regarding those landscapes. Theoretical constructs addressing the relationship between attitudes and perceptions and varying conditions of residential setting, proximity, familiarity, and human influence in the landscape were also assessed. Data were collected by mail survey and by a photo-surrogate landscape assessment technique which provided data on scenic quality and the appropriateness of various land uses. Results indicate that the strongest differences across residential settings, proximity, familiarity, and human influence occur for perceptions of existing landscape conditions. Weaker differences occur for perceptions of change and opinions on planning, management, and growth. No differences were found on land use preferences. Although perceptions differ about what currently exists in the landscape, respondents are unified in their preferences for future land use. This suggests that landscape assessments based only on perceptions of existing conditions may not accurately reflect public values for future land uses. Public value orientations were found to be associated with : (1) careful planning to control growth ; (2) conservation of water resources ; (3) preservation and rehabilitation of natural vegetation, wildlife habitat, open space, and other non-commodity resources, and (4) development of compatible flood control structures. Results suggest that the changes occurring in the study area are incompatible with respondents’ preferences for future land uses.

Mots clés : Land use, Urban – Arizona – Tucson – Public opinion. ; Riparian ecology – Arizona – Tucson.


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