On the fence: role of the attitude-behavior gap in residential yard management Open Access

Isaac, Emily (Spring 2022)

Permanent URL: https://etd.library.emory.edu/concern/etds/7h149r38z?locale=en


Residential yards comprise a significant portion of urban and suburban green space, yet they are largely ignored as spaces for conservation. Although ecological awareness in the US is gradually increasing, cultural norms and neighborhood expectations still dominate front-yard landscapes. Previous research has examined the influence of environmental values on consumer behaviors, but rarely has this approach been applied to landscaping choices. Through an online survey of homeowners in two neighborhoods in the Atlanta suburbs, the relationship between environmental views and front-yard landscaping and management choices is examined. Residents were also asked to identify any dissonance between their current and ideal yards and explain any barriers to implementation. Key informant interviews with landscaping companies and other stakeholders in the area were also used to supplement and contextualize survey responses. Environmental attitudes of respondents were not associated with a specific type of yard or management behaviors. However, aesthetic preference for lawns was indicative of an attitude-behavior gap. Respondents across the board indicated the desire to implement native yards, although structural barriers remain difficult to overcome.

Table of Contents

Introduction Methods Results 3.1 Neighborhood Demographics 3.2 Current and Ideal Yards 3.3 Management Behaviors 3.4 Attitudes vs. Behaviors Discussion 4.1 Limitations and Next Steps Sources Appendix

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