Research Goals and Objectives
Urban forests provide essential ecosystem services to a growing proportion of the world’s human population. The ability of urban forests to provide ecosystem services has been measured by scientists focusing on the management of urban ecological resources within the urban social ecological system. Resource management is, of course, undertaken by people whose management decisions are influenced by a suite of factors including institutions (policies and norms). Thus, to understand the current state of urban forests and their relationship to resource management decisions, effective research must combine analyses of biophysical, social, and institutional data.
This study attempts to answer three key questions, currently unknown within urban forest literature:
- What is the structure of the privately-owned portion of the urban forest?
- What factors motivate individual households to manage their urban trees?
- What role do neighborhood and home-owner associations play in incentivizing sustainable management of private urban forests?
By surveying single-family households across multiple neighborhood and home-owner associations in Bloomington, Indiana, and inventorying these properties’ trees, this study links outcomes on the landscape with the context and motivations of private property owners.