Publication Details

Who participates in green infrastructure initiatives and why? Comparing participants and non-participants in Philadelphia’s GI programs

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Conway, Tenley M.; Yuan, Annie Yachen; Roman, Lara A.; Heckert, Megan ; Pearsall, Hamil ; Dickinson, Stephen T.; Rosan, Christina D.; Ordóñez, Camilo

Year Published

2022

Publication

Journal of Environmental Policy & Planning

Abstract

Green infrastructure (GI) refers to trees, rain gardens, rain barrels, and other features that address stormwater management, climate change and other challenges facing many cities. GI is often not equitably distributed across urban landscapes, making its benefits unevenly experienced. Cities have multiple initiatives focused on different types of GI in residential areas, including underserved neighborhoods, although there is potential for GI programs to serve more privileged neighborhoods. The goal of this study was to examine GI program participants and non-participants to better understand who participates in different types of residential GI programs and why. We surveyed residents who had previously participated in Philadelphia’s GI programs as well as those who had not, comparing socio-demographics, knowledge-levels, environmental concerns, outdoor space preferences, motivations and barriers. We found that the GI program participants are on average younger, wealthier, more highly educated, and more likely to be White than our sample of residents who have not participated. Participants in tree programs have different socio-demographics and motivations as compared to those who installed green stormwater infrastructure. Future research should examine strategies to reach neighborhoods with different socioeconomic conditions and built environment characteristics, such as offering features appropriate for small properties with limited plantable space.

Keywords

Tree planting; urban forests; green storm; water infrastructure; nature-based solutions; residential landscapes

Citation

Conway, Tenley M.; Yuan, Annie Yachen; Roman, Lara A.; Heckert, Megan; Pearsall, Hamil; Dickinson, Stephen T.; Rosan, Christina D.; Ordóñez, Camilo. 2022. Who participates in green infrastructure initiatives and why? Comparing participants and non-participants in Philadelphia’s GI programs. Journal of Environmental Policy & Planning. 47(12): 1-15. https://doi.org/10.1080/1523908X.2022.2128310.

Last updated on: September 30, 2022