Public Perceptions of Nature and Landscape Preference in Singapore

Abstract

Widespread urbanization has led to urban areas becoming increasingly seen as sites for biodiversity conservation. Urban and landscape planners are required to concurrently tackle environmental and social issues, such as facilitating public acceptance towards naturalistic habitats and its associated biodiversity in urban areas. The research presented here quantifies public perception of nature in relation to landscape choices in Singapore, a highly urbanized city in which sustainable landscape planning movements have recently begun to take root. Results indicate that landscape preference tended towards manicured landscapes despite an overall tendency towards nature conservation, which is best achieved in naturalistic habitats. Reasons driving landscape choice were found to be aesthetic, with a focus on visual hues present in a landscape. Specific education in ecology/conservation as well as increased opportunities to experience first-hand natural areas abroad were factors that may influence landscape choice to encompass more naturalistic habitats.

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Acknowledgments

The authors would like to thank the members of the Keisei laboratory as well as the faculty and students in the Graduate Program in Sustainably Science, The University of Tokyo, who have helped to shape this project through their active participation and critical discussion. The authors are also thankful for the institutional support provided by the Graduate Program of Sustainability Science, The University of Tokyo.

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Correspondence to Joanne Yu Ting Khew.

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Khew, J.Y.T., Yokohari, M. & Tanaka, T. Public Perceptions of Nature and Landscape Preference in Singapore. Hum Ecol 42, 979–988 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10745-014-9709-x

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Keywords

  • Urban green space
  • Nature perception
  • Landscape preference
  • Tropical biodiversity
  • Singapore