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Publication Information

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Title: Trees and business district preferences: a case study of Athens, Georgia, U.S.

Author: Wolf, Kathleen L.;

Date: 2004

Source: Journal of Arboriculture. 30(6): 336-346.

Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)


As a National Main Street program participant, Athens, Georgia, U.S., has included streetscape tree plantings in economic development efforts. The Main Street program assists downtown merchant groups with physical improvements planning in order to create vital retail environments. If comprehensively managed, the urban forest can be a beneficial long-term improvement. Nonetheless, business people and merchants often have negative perceptions about trees (such as debris and reduced sign visibility) and may influence local policy and budget support for urban forest programs. This study utilized an on-site survey to elicit preference and perceptual response from visitors of the Athens central business district. The presence of a full-canopy forest was found to be associated with higher visual quality ratings of the retail district. District visitors also perceived the streetscape canopy to be an integral amenity of the city’s shopping environment. Quantitative and qualitative research outcomes are reported.

Keywords: Urban forestry, retail, business districts, environment and behavior, landscape preference.

Publication Notes:

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  • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.



Wolf, Kathleen L. 2004. Trees and business district preferences: a case study of Athens, Georgia, U.S. Journal of Arboriculture. 30(6): 336-346.


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