The urban forest holds several important positions within the built and unbuilt environments. Those positions include economic, health, sustainability, quality of life measures, and overall protection of the environment, including air, water, and soil. The points are highlighted by Wolf (2005, 2007), McPherson (2005), and Rowntree & Nowak (1991). This research references the four socio-economic sectors; the public or government sector, for profit or market sector, philanthropic or nonprofit sector, and the household or private sector (Biggs & Helm 2007). The common purposes and role of each sector with respect to the urban tree cover takes on importance as they interrelate with concerns for public health, economic viability, tree coverage, tree placement, ecological relationships, and public policy. Harris County and its 52 heterogeneous subgovernmental units serve as the study area and the base for the administration of a random internet-based survey. Additionally, the research uses urban tree canopy data to relate socio-economics, household preferences, sustainability measures, and overall environmental consciousness to gauge the sectors’ connection to the urban forest. To explain the connection between Urban Tree Canopy (UTC) and socio-economics, the 2 research used multiple correlation analysis and regression modeling with secondary data. The research incorporated the results of the primary data collected, employed hierarchal linear modeling to address the perceived problem of a lack of concern for the urban forest specifically, and sustainability generally in respect to sectoral frame of reference in answering the survey questions. The measured elements included awareness and knowledge, perception and views, taking action, satisfaction with natural conditions, and predicting willingness of the sectors to change and\or take action. The element of willingness and receptivity serves as independent variables to answer the question, are households willing to change in order to improve the UTC and overall environmental sustainability? The results can help policy makers promote sustainable initiatives that enhance the urban forest and protect the overall natural environment for the benefit of all, now and in the future.
Rodriguez, Anthony M. Ph.D., "The Role of the Household in Urban Forestry as a Measure of Urban Sustainability: A Matrix of Action and Change" (2012). Faculty Scholarship. 1.