Public perception and attitudes towards public affairs in the USA since the 1960s become a societal issue of growing importance in the field of planning. Good land-use planning should deliver a bright future vision in a way that unites and inspires groups to implement it. The introduction of public perception into planning helps to understand the process of how the public develop their awareness, value judgments, behavior and attitudes. In this research, we built the framework of public perception in land-use planning based on the affect, behavior, cognition (ABC) theory of consumer behavior. We gathered empirical data for Jiangsu province in China. We used structural equation modeling, a commonly used statistical analysis method for examining the structural relationship between multiple variables. We found that the public perception towards public affairs contributed to forming a multiple iterative interaction effect, which evolves a process from primary cognition to knowledge extraction, internalized absorption, emotional judgement and finally externalization into a certain attitudes and behaviors. On the cognitive level, our research result showed that public expectation and perceived quality have opposite effects on perceived difference and the public expectation is more influential. If the planning vision provides a clear and convincing picture of the future, and the information of planning is easy to understand, the public’s cognition and emotion can be well integrated. The core element of the emotional level is perceived value. The public is more concerned about a new planning project if it can add the value to the land, protect community environment, and improve the condition of low-income and minority populations. On the behavior level, public continuous behavior intentions could enhance perceived value, subjective norms and perceived availability. The research could further account for the root of public attitudes and behavior. This is crucial to China's land-use policy, and may well provide important lessons for other developing countries.
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