Attitudes Towards Vegetation in a Desert Urban Forest: Creating a Sense of Place
Christina B. Kennedy and Ervin H. Zube
Abstract: Attitudes towards vegetation are especially important in Tucson, located in the Sonoran Desert, where water availability is limited and where native vegetation can play an important role in the city's image and sense of place. This paper reports on interviews with long-term Tucson residents and a survey of students who are relatively new to Tucson. Vegetation was seen as contributing to Tucson's sense of place, however, preferences for native versus exotic vegetation appeared related to length of time in Tucson. Location and context were identified as important factors to be considered when choosing vegetation types or considering expanding the urban forest. Similarities between this study and ones from temperate regions, showing the importance of location and territoriality apparent in attitudes towards vegetation in the innercity, are discussed.