by MCR Hunter, DG Brown

Landscape and Urban Planning 105:407-416


This study aimed to understand the “social contagion” of residential gardens in right-of-way areas in Ann Arbor, MI. All private properties in the city were visited to determine if an easement garden was present. Gardens were photographed and assessed for structural elements (e.g., position within the easement, size), aesthetic quality, vegetation content, and presence of ornaments. Data were entered into GIS and analyzed to find clusters of easement gardens, indicating non-random distribution. The results showed that a property is 2.4 times more likely to have an easement garden if a neighbor within 30 m has one, and the most intense clustering occurs between gardens with direct visual access between them. Ramifications of social contagion for encouraging environmentally sustainable behavior are presented.

Region: Ann Arbor, Michigan
Publication Type: Journal article
Keywords: aesthetics, field study, gardens, GIS, green infrastructure, and urban nature