Urban squares play an increasingly important role as spaces with green areas where residents can connect with nature and consume ecological amenities. Our research investigated user attitudes and preferences towards the presence, use and benefits of green infrastructure in Convalecencia Square, a main city square in San Juan, Puerto Rico with an unusual dual configuration and regulatory structure. Users were interviewed to assess preferences and attitudes towards vegetation and uses. A tripartite model that considered cognitive, affective and behavioral components was used to examine attitudes towards green areas, and choice experiment based methodology facilitated assessment of user preferences towards existing and hypothetical gray/green infrastructure configurations. Findings show that, with the exception of those expressing visions akin to those of the hygienic city imaginary, users show strong affective outlooks towards green infrastructure, placing emphasis on aesthetic components, and exhibiting a limited identification of cognitive components such as the role of ecosystem services. Education on green area ecosystem services could help bridge the gap between affective and cognitive components. Furthermore, gender differences on green infrastructure configuration choices point to the idea of exploring gender-differentiated green area conservation and development strategies.
Santiago, L., Gladkikh, T., Betancourt, L., & Vargas, Y. (2015). Green versus Gray: Attitudes toward Vegetation in a Tropical Metropolitan Square. Environment and Natural Resources Research, 5(2). https://doi.org/10.5539/enrr.v5n2p109