Social Aspects of Urban Forestry
PUBLIC RESPONSE TO THE URBAN FOREST IN INNER-CITY BUSINESS DISTRICTS
by Kathleen L. Wolf
Abstract. Revitalization programs are under way in
many inner-city business districts. An urban forestry program
can be an important element in creating an appealing
consumer environment, yet it may not be considered a priority
given that there are often many physical improvements
needs. This research evaluated the role of trees in
consumer/environment interactions, focusing on the
districtwide public goods provided by the community forest. A
national survey evaluated public perceptions, patronage
behavior intentions, and product willingness to pay in relationship
to varied presence of trees in retail streetscapes.
Results suggest that consumer behavior is positively correlated
with streetscape greening on all of these cognitive and
behavioral dimensions. Research outcomes also establish a basis
for partnerships with business communities regarding
urban forest planning and management.
Key Words. Urban/community forestry; public
perceptions; retail business.
In many U.S. inner cities, local business districts are
working toward revival and revitalization. Improvements needs
are manybuilding upgrades, street and sidewalk
improvements, sanitation, securityand place extreme demands on
limited resources. Despite the environmental benefits provided
by trees in cities, tree programs are often not a high priority
for merchants in struggling business communities.
Urban trees provide few, if any, marketable products
that generate direct returns on investment for businesses.
Rather, indirect benefits are likely and are difficult to assess.
A research project was conducted to evaluate the
potential economic contributions of trees to retail settings in
revitalizing business districts. Survey outcomes suggest that trees
are important components of a welcoming, appealing
consumer environment. Such information can aid urban
forestry agencies and professionals in efforts to enlist
business support for creating and stewarding a city's urban forest.
BACKGROUND AND LITERATURE
While many studies have documented the multiple
benefits and satisfactions of urban vegetation (Dwyer et al.
1994), most have focused on parks and residential
settings (Sommer et al. 1990; Schroeder 1992), overlooking
the importance of the urban forest to private enterprise
et al. 1992). Little is known about the perceived
benefits and values of the urban forest in retail and
commercial districts, a void addressed by this research.
Psychological theory of person/environment
dynamics constituted the core of this study, with focus on
consumer/environment interaction. Social scientists distinguish
the physical-tangible domain of an environment from
interpersonal and sociocultural domains (Stokols 1978;
Wapner 1987). Some person/environment research is premised
on stimulus-response assumptions; other
investigations maintain an interactional perspective (Moore 1987).
Response to environments arises from a person's
myriad assessments of a physical setting. Observers interpret
rather literal characteristics of a place to make judgments of
function (e.g., school versus hospital) or wayfinding. Observers also
make connotative or inferential judgments about the quality
or character of a place and the people who inhabit it (Nasar
1998). People cognitively overlay physical form with meanings
or representations, integrating mediating information gained
from observers' prior experiences, social learning, and attitudes.
Retailers rely on the tangible, physical setting of
their business to attract consumers to their products
and services. Surprisingly, there is little information about
the role of outdoor environment in consumer behavior,
despite extensive marketing and retail science studies on
store interiors and products. While general
person/environment interaction has been studied since the 1940s, the area
of consumer/environment interaction has attracted
relatively few research efforts (Everett et al. 1994).
Urban Trees and Public Goods
Knowledge about urban tree benefits and services
has grown considerably in recent decades. Easily
observed measures of value, such as those expressed through
market pricing dynamics, do not exist for such public
goods (Fausold and Lilieholm 1996; Prato 1998).
One vein of benefits research focuses on
environmental improvements and enhancement such as surface
water management and air quality (McPherson 1995).
Dollar values have been derived from extrapolations of
environmental benefits and the substitutability of
forest-derived "nature's services" for goods and services having
market-based values (Daily 1997).
In addition, the psychosocial benefits that accrue
as people encounter trees and nature in cities are
extensive. Scientific evidence confirms that experiences of nature
are associated with enhanced worker productivity
(Kaplan 1992), traffic stress reduction (Parsons et al. 1998),
emotional stress mitigation (Ulrich 1986), and restoration
of cognitive capacities needed for basic functioning
and productivity (Kaplan and Kaplan 1989; Cimprich 1992).
Public goods estimations derived from
environmental and psychosocial benefits may not be particularly salient
to business audiences. In retail and commercial settings,
the urban forest is often regarded along a spectrum
from annoyance or nuisance to actual business detriment
(Wolf 1998). Such attitudes incite behaviors that eliminate
or preclude urban forest programs in many retail
settings. American Forests (1999) recommends that urban retail
and commercial districts have a 15% canopy cover; the
national average is approximately 5%.
Tree Amenity Valuation
A variety of scientific methods have been employed to
assess public preference and perceptual response regarding
diverse landscapes (Ulrich 1986; Kaplan and Kaplan 1989).
Economists have also developed contingent valuation
methods (CVM), which O'Doherty (1996) regards as a
"monetized technique for eliciting public preferences."
Contingent valuation surveys have been used to assess public
willingness to pay for use, conservation, or restoration of urban
and rural resources. Nonetheless, empirical applications of
CVM to elicit values for public goods associated with
urban forestry are few (Tyrväinen and Väänänen 1998).
The problems of CVM survey design have been
widely discussed and carefully documented (Mitchell and
Carson 1989; Prato 1998). Bishop and Heberlein (1990) identify
six design elements for maintaining the reliability of CVM
surveys and results. First, know whose and which values will
be estimated. Also, respondents must be provided with a
clear and meaningful description of the good. A realistic
and neutral payment method must be used to ask
valuation questions. A suitable question format must be developed
that gives reliable values. Additionally, the survey should
collect information on other factors that affect values. Finally,
the data must be analyzed using valid statistical procedures.
A multiphase, national research program was conducted
to evaluate several dimensions of consumers' experiences
of inner-city business districts. Qualitative interviews,
preference evaluations, and perceptual responses were
elicited; perceptual results are reported here. Four research
questions provided a framework for the research design:
1. What is the relationship between street landscape
and consumers' perceptions of associated businesses?
2. Are there any differences in consumers'
patronage behavior related to a shopping environment's
3. Does the presence of trees in retail
environments influence what consumers would be willing to pay
4. What demographic factors are associated with
differences in district perceptions, patronage behavior,
and pricing valuation?
Answers to these questions are directly related to
the "bottom line" fiscal interests of business and commerce
and provide insights as to how forest benefits may align
with retail enterprise.
Psychometric and econometric survey methods
were employed to assess consumer response to
streetscape conditions in revitalizing inner-city business districts.
Three hypothetical scenarios of neighborhood business
district streetscapes were presented using composites of
photographic images and a plan view sketch. The three
scenarios differed with respect to the quantity, location, and
complexity of vegetation. Other scene content was
controlled because secondary visual features (e.g., building age,
utility lines) can be distractors and affect viewer
response (Smardon 1988; Herzog and Shier 2000).
In the No Trees scenario (Figure 1) the district is devoid
of vegetation, and scenes contain uninterrupted arrays
of storefronts. The Traditional Trees scenario (Figure 2) depicts
a similar street scene with equidistantly placed street trees
of medium height. No conflicts of trees with structures
or infrastructure are directly apparent. Finally, the
Mixed Vegetation scenario (Figure 3) contains a vegetation
complement of mixed species composition and diverse
structure. Accent planters, shrubs, and trees are intermixed
and informally placed within the pedestrian zone.
Each participant responded to two of the three
scenarios. For each, participants were asked to provide
ratings on a bank of perceptual descriptors. A second set
of variables elicited patronage behavior response.
Respondents also specified their willingness to pay (WTP) for items in
a list of goods and services. Last were variables to
determine participants' socioeconomic situation, shopping
behavior patterns, and cultural background.
Following pretesting, the survey was distributed
to residents of revitalizing neighborhood business districts
in selected U.S. cities having populations greater than
100,000: Los Angeles, California; Washington, D.C.; Chicago,
Illinois; Portland, Oregon; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Austin,
Texas; and Seattle, Washington. The sampling frame for
survey mailing was determined by screening criteria at the city,
then the business district level. Respondent sampling for
ethnic and cultural diversity was pursued.
Local partners in each of the cities were
extremely helpful in identifying suitable locations for survey
mailing and constructing mailing lists. Master address lists
were assembled from organization membership lists, municipal records, and
list broker purchases based on ZIP codes. A
stratified random sample of addresses was generated.
Twenty-five hundred surveys were sent to residences within
specified districts in winter 1998. Survey mailings
were followed by reminder cards, then a second
questionnaire mailing. Two-hundred seventy reasonably
complete questionnaires were returned, while 309
were nondeliverable or returned without response. The
12% response rate is lower than typical landscape
assessment return rates of 25% to 50% (Kaplan and
Kaplan 1989; Sullivan 1994), even considering that
return rates for inner-city surveys are usually lower
ANALYSIS AND RESULTS
Data analysis is presented in four sections.
Analytic investigations for each variable set
included descriptive statistics, data reduction procedures,
and between-scenario comparisons.
Trees and Perceptions
A set of Likert scaled response items included issues of place mood
and security, shopping compatibility, and merchant
traits. Ratings for the 25 perceptual items ranged from
1 (indicating "strongly
|Plan view sketch of streetscapenot to scale.
Figure 1. Business district scenarios: No Trees scenario.
|Plan view sketch of streetscapenot to scale.
Figure 2. Business district scenarios: Traditional Trees scenario.
|Plan view sketch of streetscapenot to scale
Figure 3. Business district scenarios: Mixed Vegetation scenario.
disagree") to 7 (specifying "strongly agree"), with 4 as
a neutral point.
Using accepted decision rules (Kaplan and Kaplan
1989) to define and name underlying categories, data
reduction entailed principal axis factor analysis with Varimax
rotation. Four categories emergedAmenity and Comfort,
Merchant Interaction, Quality of Products, and Maintenance
and Upkeepaccounting for 65% of the total variable
variance. New variables were constructed by aggregating mean
values across all category items for each respondent.
Category means were compared between scenarios using
one-way ANOVA and Bonferroni post hoc tests (Table 1).
Distinct patterns of ratings response characterize
the relationships of the districts and the four perceptual
categories. The No Trees scenario was consistently rated lowest
on each of the perceptual scales. Respondents described
the district as being "stark," "barren," and "bleak."
Meanwhile, the districts containing vegetation,
Traditional Trees and Mixed
Vegetation, had higher ratings, again across
all perceptual categories. Respondents described the
Traditional Trees district as "welcoming," "friendly," and
being "neighborhoody" and observed that the
Mixed Vegetation district appeared "relaxing," "inviting," and "well-kept."
It is expected that the contrast of trees or no trees in
a consumer environment would influence consumers' judgments of Amenity and Comfort. The contribution
of vegetation to other perceptual judgments of retail
place merits closer attention. Representative images were
carefully chosen to eliminate known confounds, including level
of tendedness (Herzog and Gale 1996) and upkeep
(Nasar 1987). Despite equivalence of streetscape tidiness,
presence of vegetation positively influenced appraisals
of Maintenance and Upkeep.
As revealed by Merchant Interaction and Quality
of Products categories, the presence of trees has
significant positive influences on consumer inferences about a
shopping environment. Marketing studies have evaluated
the role of "atmospherics" on consumer intentions and
behavior, finding that indoor environmental elements such
as music, product layout, and lighting all contribute to
store image (Zimmer and Golden 1988). In turn, store
image influences consumers' perceptions (Dodds et al.
1991). Prior research on nature and city streets supports
the finding that both evaluative appraisals (Nasar 1987)
and affective response (Sheets and Manzer 1991) are boosted
by the presence of trees.
The Merchant Interaction category confirms that shoppers infer social factors from physical attributes of
a place. A person's cognitive interpretations and
representations of place extend to include the quality of social
interaction and response that he or she expects. This finding
may be of particular importance to businesses that are
service oriented. It may also have price behavior
implications: Grewal and Baker (1994) found that store settings
with interactive, friendly sales personnel produced higher
price acceptability in consumers.
Patronage behavior variables consisted of five
categorical response questions. Participants were asked to
specify travel time, travel distance, duration of visit, frequency
of visits, and parking fee WTP. Based on response
distributions, some variable categories were collapsed.
Two-way contingency analysis tables evaluated the relationship
of variables to district scenarios using
X2 tests and Cramer's V statistics (Table 2). Response on all patronage variables
was found to be significantly related to district
Response to the two vegetated districts was again
similar and differed in like ways from the No
Trees condition. An inverse response pattern is evident.
No Trees responses are concentrated at the low end of each of the
variables' categorical arrays and diminish in frequency moving
toward the high end of the arrays. Conversely, responses
associated with Traditional Trees and Mixed
Vegetation are less frequent at the lowest end of the arrays, increase in frequency,
then slightly decline at the variables' higher value levels
but remain at higher frequencies than the No
Another response pattern is evident. Patronage
response across all scenarios is greater at mid-array categories.
Perhaps there are thresholds to visitation and travel behavior
associated with the type of retail environment depicted.
Urban forest advocates are often challenged to
demonstrate the fiscal returns associated with tree installation
Table 1. Scenario perceptionscategories and comparisons.
|Factor categories and items||loading||variance (%)||No trees||Trad. trees||Mixed veg.||ANOVA
|Amenity and Comfort||25.31||Mean||Mean||Mean||F = 269.47
|Positive image||0.79||3.00||5.35||5.69||p < .000, 2 df
|Attractive to tourists||0.78||1.28 SD||1.17 SD||1.05 SD||(2, 3 no sig. *)
|Has a pleasant atmosphere||0.78
|Good place to explore||0.78
|Place to browse for future purchases||0.73
|Businesses are friendly and approachable||0.57
Merchant Interaction||16.96||Mean||Mean||Mean||F = 25.23
|Goods and services are fairly priced||0.75||4.24||4.82||4.90||p < .000, 2 df
|Shopkeepers are informative||0.72||0.98 SD||0.90 SD||0.94 SD||(2, 3 no sig. *)
|Good customer service||0.68
|Diverse businesses and services||0.45
Quality of Products||14.43||Mean||Mean||Mean||F = 81.03
|High-quality brands are available||0.85||3.59||4.69||5.00||p < .000, 2 df
|Products are well-made and reliable||0.77||1.07 SD||1.03 SD||1.14 SD||(2, 3 no sig. *)
|Merchants will do special orders||0.54
Maintenance and Upkeep||8.46||Mean||Mean||Mean||F = 110.31
|Clean and litter-free||0.66||4.27||5.65||5.94||p < .000, 2 df
|Comfortable street spaces||0.41||1.39 SD||1.01 SD||0.87 SD||(2, 3 no sig. *)
*Bonferroni post hoc comparison of means, = 0.017 (0.05/3).
maintenance expenses in retail settings. The
patronage variables specify consumer behaviors that can
potentially enlarge a customer base for districts having trees,
potentially generating additional revenues. For instance,
greater travel distances were reported for the with-trees
scenarios; an expanded trade area radius within dense urban
populations suggests a larger customer pool. In addition,
respondents reported greater WTP for parking in
vegetated districts; claims of parking revenues lost due to spaces
being displaced by trees may be offset by consumers' WTP
higher fees in forested districts.
The last set of response items assessed the
nonmarket, nonutility values of trees in retail environments using
CVM. Marketers cluster products and services into three
general classes (Kinnear et al. 1995). Convenience goods are
widely available and purchased with little deliberation.
Shopping goods are purchased after planning and comparison and
are selectively distributed. Finally, specialty goods have
high brand recognition and consumer loyalty; thus, little
comparison shopping is done before purchase.
Economists often use indices to investigate
market patterns (e.g., the Consumer Price Index "basket of
goods"). Respondents were asked to indicate the price they would
be willing to pay for each of 15 items. Three index
variables were constructed by aggregating stated values for all
items within each product index class for each participant
(Table 3). Prior to aggregation, outlier values were identified
to avoid strategic behavior effects; approximately seven
cases per district per product/service item were removed.
Within each district, shopping goods means are
greater than convenience goods, with specialty goods
commanding the highest stated values. These pricing trends are
consistent with marketing literature (Kinnear et al. 1995) in that
the goods classes typically contain products of ascending
value, quality, and consequently, price.
Means comparisons between scenarios (one-way ANOVA and Bonferroni post hoc tests) disclosed
significant differences. Respondents reported WTP less for
equivalent goods in business districts without trees. Price
differences between tree and no-tree conditions are
considerable: Approximately 50% for convenience, 40% for
shopping, and 35% for specialty goods. Analysis using
weighted standard scores across all products generated a
more conservative 11.95% difference between tree and
no-tree conditions. Statistically significant differences
demonstrate an "amenity margin" that represents potential revenues
for business districts and merchants.
Given that household samples were drawn from
inner-city neighborhoods, an unexpected 45% of respondents
had annual household incomes of US$50,000 or greater.
Forty-one percent of responding households had two
persons, perhaps representing dual-income situations.
One-person households tallied at 33%. Regarding shopping
frequency for nongrocery goods and services, 40% reported one
to two times per week, and 45% indicated less-frequent
trips. Age data favored younger people, with 42% in their
40s and 50s, and 42% in their 30s or younger.
Research methods were designed to generate
inferences about diverse urban populations; thus, a probability
sample was attempted. Business districts having ethnic
population concentrations (e.g., African American, Asian American,
or Hispanic) were identified for mailings. Nonetheless, 83%
of the respondents were White/Caucasian. Low
representation of people of color may be due to the composition of
mailing lists or ethnicity-associated nonresponse behavior.
Statistical comparisons of respondent characteristics
to perception, patronage, and pricing variables were
conducted. No relationships were identified between
demographic categories and the perception factors, suggesting that
people of diverse age, gender, shopping behavior, and income
infer similar perceptual traits about consumer places.
Considering the five patronage variables, it was
found that respondents who shop frequently indicated a
lower patronage frequency in forested business districts
X2 = 24.366, df = 9, p < .01); infrequent shoppers
favored vegetated settings. Females reported lower frequencies
of short-duration visits, while men claimed higher
frequencies of short visits within forested shopping settings
X2 = 16.126, df = 3, p < .001). During pretesting, men
claimed to do more focused shopping and less browsing;
the behavior may generalize to all shopping experiences.
Of particular interest were respondent characteristics
and pricing response. Do respondents, in a hypothetical
situation, take into account their ability to pay? Past research suggests
that if indicated WTP amounts are nominal, budget constraint bias
is minimal and is more evident when major and costly programs
or products are valued (Mitchell and Carson 1989). In this
study, mean prices for product categories seemed within
reasonable ranges. Only convenience goods displayed significant
differences in means between household income categories
(one-way ANOVA F = 2.455, df = 4,124, p < .05). Specialty goods
pricing, most likely to be influenced by income, varied due to number
of persons in household (ANOVA F = 3.887, df = 2,121,
p < .05), perhaps again reflecting income correspondence.
Finally, comparing cultural groups, Hispanic
respondents reported the lowest valuation for specialty
goods (ANOVA F = 3.321, df = 3,117, p < .05), an inconclusive result
owing to the limited cultural diversity of respondents.
Public attitudes about any natural resource issue or
topic can span a spectrum from opponents to advocates. Yet
the business sector of any community may rely on a
narrow range of interests and perceptions as a heuristic base
for public dialog on trees in cities. Business peoples'
attitudes matter, for the entrepreneurial community can be
politically active and influence citywide programs.
Some business communities welcome trees as a
consumer-oriented amenity. Yet in many instances,
small business owners and managers overlook the
Table 2. Scenarios ´ patronage analysis.
|Patronage analysis||No trees (%)||Trad. tree (%)||Mixed veg. (%)
|Time willing to travel to reach place?||
|(Pearson 2 = 117.55, p < .000, Cramer's V = .436)
|Less than 10 minutes||56||16||11
|10 to 19 minutes||28||40||36
|20 to 29 minutes||12||27||31
|30 minutes or more||3||17||23
|n = 178||n = 165||n = 169
|Distance willing to travel?
|(Pearson 2 = 84.72, p < .000, Cramer's V = .397)
|Less than 1 mile||37||10||8
|1 to 5 miles||42||38||34
|5 to 10 miles||18||33||36
|More than 10 miles||3||19||22
|n = 177||n = 166||n = 169
|Time would spend during visit?
|(Pearson 2 = 134.15, p < .000, Cramer's V = .507)
|up to 30 minutes||61||16||12
|30 to 59 minutes||26||36||39
|1 to 2 hours||11||32||32
|more than 2 hours||2||17||17
|n = 178||n = 166||n = 169
|Frequency of visits?
|(Pearson 2 = 49.63, p < .000, Cramer's V = .311)
|Once a year or less||26||8||6
|Several times a year to monthly||44||35||41
|Two to three times per month||13||30||22
|Once a week or more||16||27||31
|n = 160||n = 158||n = 162
|Willing to pay to park?
|(Pearson 2 = 43.98, p < .000, Cramer's V = .288)
|Up to $0.25 per hour||31||21||18
|$0.25 to $0.75 per hour||19||29||28
|More than $0.75 per hour||6||21||27
|n = 176||n = 163||n = 167
*Column total percentages may be more than 100 due to rounding.
of trees to retail success. They focus on the annoyances
of treesreduced signage visibility, seasonal debris,
and security issues. Business people can be biased by
the situation of a particular tree or two in front of a shop,
failing to recognize the districtwide benefits that can be attained
by developing a quality urban forest.
This study is a first step in documenting benefits
associated with having trees in retail streetscapes.
Empirical research can be used to better understand how
consumers and the urban forest interact, providing information
on both the public value of trees and management practices
to optimize returns on public investment. This study
used multiple approaches of resource value assessment
to understand public response to trees in inner-cities.
Consumers value trees, and do so across multiple dimensions.
Streetscape Perceptions and Inferences
Business districts having trees were characterized as
being higher in visual quality and comfort, as providing
more positive interaction with merchants, as having
higher-quality products, and generally appearing to be better
maintained and kept up. Such evaluations are reinforced by
respondents' claims that they would be willing to travel farther and
longer, visit more often and for longer periods of time, and pay
more for parking when visiting retail places that have trees.
The discipline of social psychology offers insights
for understanding the cognitive processes of
place-based consumer response. Social psychology is defined by
Brehm et al. (1999) as "the scientific study of how
individuals think, feel, and behave in regard to other people and
how individuals' thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are
affected by other people."
Social perceivers assemble various bits of
information and, mediated by perceiver dispositions, form
impressions of others. Leyens and Fiske (1994, p. 40) note that
"people continuously build impression theories and use them
in their commerce with other people." Observed traits are
the indirect cues used to interpret feelings, personality,
character, and likely behaviors. Diverse information about
a person is integrated to form a coherent impression
and guide decisions about how to interact with a person
(Wyer and Lambert 1994). Consequent information and
experience will be used by the observer to confirm or modify
the impression. Rapid cognitive assessment of others provides
a basis for inference and evaluation of new acquaintances.
Built settings apparently evoke similar
evaluative responses. Respondents' open-ended scenario
descriptors go beyond physical traits and include inferences
about social and psychological interactions. Social
psychological concepts of "social attribution" and "impression
formation" readily translate to consumer/environment interactions.
Public Goods and Local Economics
Many benefits of natural and environmental resources
can-not be valued in the marketplace because of incomplete
or nonexistent markets. Contingent valuation was used in
this study to estimate indirect values of public goods
generated by trees in retail settings, values that may offset direct
costs (e.g., installation and maintenance) districtwide.
Theoretically, given fixed household income,
expressions of WTP represent forgone expenditures on other goods
and services in expectation of satisfaction achieved from
a public good. The additional 12% or more expressed
WTP for goods associated with a vegetated streetscape
represents an experiential satisfaction utility that is chosen over
that available from other purchases.
Costbenefit analysis premised on consumer
expressed values should be a future research focus. Contingent
valuation studies of wildland or open space natural
resources typically aggregate WTP statements across a selected
population, region, or households to assess nonmarket
benefit values (Bateman et al. 1996; Tyrväinen and Väänänen
1998). Comparing direct costs of installation and management of
a streetscape to the summed indirect benefits valuation
reveals net public goods values and can inform decisions
about allocating urban forest resources (Prato 1998).
Several results have important implications for
budgeting urban forest programs. For instance, no
significant differences were found between the ratings for
the Traditional Trees and Mixed
Vegetation districts across all perceptual
categories and price indices. This finding
suggests that consumer behavior is most directly influenced
by the dichotomy of presence or absence of trees,
irrespective of the design detailing
Table 3. Product pricing by scenarios.
|Index and items||No trees||Trad. trees||Mixed veg.||ANOVA
|Convenience Goods||Mean||Mean||Mean||F = 49.91
|Ice cream cone, dinner, flower bouquet,||8.98||13.44||13.78||p < .000, 2 df
| lunch sandwich, appointment book||2.74 SD||5.20 SD||5.00 SD||(2, 3 no sig. *)
Shopping Goods||Mean||Mean||Mean||F = 31.11
|Sports shoes, watch, light jacket,||33.52||46.43||47.36||p < .000, 2 df
| pots and pans, gallon of paint||11.49 SD||16.72 SD||18.54 SD||(2, 3 no sig. *)
Specialty Goods||Mean||Mean||Mean||F = 23.64
|Gift for spouse/partner, new glasses,||51.88||69.79||73.24||p < .000, 2 df
| art print, motel room||18.30 SD||30.41 SD||30.79 SD||(2, 3 no sig. *)
*Bonferroni post hoc comparison of means, = 0.017 (0.05/3).
and accessory planting. Future research is needed
to determine if this finding is consistent with actual
behavior or is an artifact of the survey instrument.
Consumer purchasing represents about two-thirds of
the economic activity of the United States. Independent
merchants in inner-city neighborhood business districts, once key
retail players, now face competitive pressure from regional
malls, "big box" retailers, and e-tailers. How does the local
merchant preserve or restore his or her slice of the economic pie?
Study results suggest that higher price valuations
are mediated by psychological inferences of district
character and product quality. Thus, creating and stewarding an
urban forest canopy may enhance revenues for businesses in
retail districts that offer diverse products at varied
prices. Consumer purchases provide compensatory returns
for districtwide costs of tree planting and maintenance, as
well as revenue enhancement for individual businesses.
While many conditions contribute to perceptions
by consumers of attractive, desirable shopping settings,
this study suggests that the urban forest should be a
central element of retail place. Many marketing studies
have focused on the "micro" level of product packaging
and placement, or indoor retail configuration. This
study contributes information about the "macro" level of
consumer perception; that is, the positive influences of
the outdoor environment on consumer choice and behavior.
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Acknowledgments. We thank all project partners
for assistance in developing and conducting this
especially staff of the following organizations: Central
Area Development Association (Seattle, Washington),
Chinatown/International District Business Improvement
Association (Seattle, Washington), Rainier Chamber of
Commerce (Seattle, Washington), City of Chicago Department
of Environment, Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce
(Chicago, Illinois), Urban Forest Council of Washington, D.C., City
of Austin Parks and Recreation (Texas), Korean
Business Association of Southern California (Los Angeles,
California), Conservation Consultants (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania), City
of Portland Bureau of Planning (Oregon), and the City
of Vancouver (Washington).
This research was supported by a grant from the National Urban and Community Forestry Advisory
Council (U.S. Forest Service, Project No WAUF-95-001).
Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to
the author at firstname.lastname@example.org. Additional
project information can be found at
Research Assistant Professor
College of Forest Resources
University of Washington
Seattle, WA 98110, U.S.
Résumé. Les programmes de revitalisation sont peu
mis en branle dans les zones d'affaires des centres-villes.
Un programme de foresterie urbaine peut être un
élément important pour créer un environnement de
consommation attirant, bien qu'il peut ne pas être considéré comme
une priorité étant donné qu'il y a beaucoup de besoins
en améliorations physiques. Cette recherche évalue le rôle
des arbres dans les interactions consommateurs/environnement. Une enquête nationale a évalué les
perceptions du public, les intentions de comportement du
patronat et le désir de paiement pour un produit, et ce en
relation avec une variété d'aménagement avec des arbres le long
des rues commerciales. Les résultats suggèrent que
le comportement des consommateurs est positivement
avec la présence d'aménagements verts le long des rues,
et ce dans toutes ses dimensions cognitives et comportementales. Les résultats de ces
recherches établissent également une base de partenariat avec
les communautés d'affaire en regard de la
planification forestière urbaine et de la gestion.
Zusammenfassung. In vielen
innerstädtischen Geschäftsbezirken sind Revitalisierungsprogramme
am Wirken. Ein urbanes Forstprogramm kann ein
wichtiges Element bei der Gestaltung eines
angenehmen Konsumentenumfelds sein, auch wenn oft nicht
einer Priorität Raum gegeben wird, dass zunächst
physikalische Verbesserungen notwendig sind. Diese Forschung
bewertet die Rolle der Bäume in
Konsumenten/Umwelt-Interaktionen und fokusiert dabei auf die bezirkweiten Vorteile, die
durch öffentlichen Waldbestand geliefert werden. Eine
nationale Untersuchung bewertete die
Öffentlichkeitsakzeptanz, Intentionen für Patenschaftsverhalten und
Zahlungs-willigkeit in Relation zu verschiedenen Baumstandorten
in Geschäftsstraßenzügen. Die Ergebnisse verdeutlichen,
dass das Konsumentenverhalten positiv korreliert ist
mit Straßenbegrünungenm in allen kognitiven und
Verhaltens-dimensionen. Die Ergebnisse etablieren auch eine Basis
für Partnerschaften mit Geschäftsbezirken in Bezug
auf Forstpflanzung und Management.
Resumen. Los programas de rehabilitación son
poco conocidos en muchos distritos de negocios urbanos.
Un programa dasonómico urbano puede ser un
elemento importante para la creación de un ambiente favorable
para el consumidor. Aunque no son considerados como
una prioridad requieren un mejoramiento físico.
Esta investigación evalúa el papel de los árboles en
las interacciones ambiente / consumidor, poniendo énfasis
en los beneficios públicos provistos por la comunidad
forestal. Un sondeo nacional evaluó las percepciones del público,
los patrones de comportamiento y la buena voluntad
para pagar por los productos con relación a la presencia de
los árboles en paisajes urbanos. Los resultados sugieren que
el comportamiento del consumidor está
positivamente relacionado con el enverdecimiento de las calles en
todas esas dimensiones cognitivas y de comportamiento.
La investigación también sugiere bases para patrocinios
en comunidades de negocios con relación a la planeación
y manejo del bosque urbano.