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The good, the bad, and the interested: how historical demographics explain present-day tree canopy, vacant lot and tree request spatial variability in New Haven, CT

Locke, Dexter H., Baine, Gillian
Urban ecosystems 2015 v.18 no.2 pp. 391-409
attitudes and opinions, canopy, census data, demographic statistics, ecosystem services, ecosystems, environmental factors, environmental quality, landscapes, least squares, models, socioeconomic factors, street trees
Trees provide environmental benefits while vacant lots may pose environmental threats. Citizen requests for street trees may indicate positive attitudes toward improving local environmental quality. Each of these three indicators is evaluated to explore socio-spatial shifts and environmental variability using historic demographic data for New Haven, CT. Techniques include exploring bivariate correlations and performing ordinary least squares regressions with socio-economic data at the Census block group scale. Spatial lag and spatial error models are also estimated to control for and elucidate the spatial patterning. Because present day built and environmental conditions are the result of former actions, historic socio-economic data help enumerate temporal lags that create landscape legacies. This methods paper suggests a presence of distributional inequity, and reveals that different socio-economic variables have varied temporal lags.