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Sustainability 2017, 9(10), 1746; doi:10.3390/su9101746

The Influence of Structural Conditions and Cultural Inertia on Water Usage and Landscape Decision-Making in a California Metropolitan Area

1
Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources, North Carolina State University, 5223 Jordan Hall Addition, P.O. Box 8008, Raleigh, NC 27695, USA
2
Department of Sociology, California State University, Fresno 5340 N, Campus Dr. M/S SS97, Fresno, CA 93740, USA
3
Ostim Teknopark Inc., 100. Yıl Bulvarı OFİM İş Merkezi Kat: 10 No: 99/12, OSTİM Ankara 06370, Turkey
4
Department of Anthropology, California State University, Fresno 5245 N, Backer Ave. M/S PB20, Fresno, CA 93740, USA
5
Biodiversity Lab, North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, 11 West Jones Street, Raleigh, NC 27601, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 29 July 2017 / Revised: 22 September 2017 / Accepted: 25 September 2017 / Published: 27 September 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in an Urbanizing World: The Role of People)
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Abstract

Urban development and planning are increasingly centered on matters of sustainability, balancing economic development with ecosystem services and biological diversity within urban environments. In addition to these institutional and structural factors, the decision-making process within individual households must be understood to address rising concerns about water use. Therefore, individual characteristics and preferences that influence the use of water also warrant examination. In response to a survey of occupants of single-family residences in the Fresno Clovis Metropolitan Area of California, contextual interviews and focus group interviews with a homeowner sub-sample, we find evidence of an interplay of social—structural, institutional, and cultural factors involved in influencing individual water use behaviors and landscape decision-making. The complexity of residential behaviors and decision-making poses some potential issues with regards to the interactions between individual households and institutional actors in matters of water usage and landscaping, as residents surveyed indicate relatively little confidence in institutions and groups to make wise water policy decisions. We conclude that the promotion and implementation of sustainable water use practices will require not only environmental education for the citizenry, but also a tailoring of information for environmental educational initiatives that address the particularities of individual neighborhoods and communities. View Full-Text
Keywords: urban sustainability; California; landscape decision-making; urban environment; water use behaviors; social—ecological systems urban sustainability; California; landscape decision-making; urban environment; water use behaviors; social—ecological systems
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Katti, M.; Jones, A.R.; Özgöç Çağlar, D.; Delcore, H.D.; Kar Gupta, K. The Influence of Structural Conditions and Cultural Inertia on Water Usage and Landscape Decision-Making in a California Metropolitan Area. Sustainability 2017, 9, 1746.

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