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Residential Landscapes, Environmental Sustainability and Climate Change

From Sustainable to Resilient Cities: Global Concerns and Urban Efforts

ISBN: 978-1-78441-058-2, eISBN: 978-1-78441-057-5

Publication date: 25 November 2014



Climate change is a global threat to social, economic, and environmental sustainability. In an increasingly urbanized world, homeowners play an important role in climate adaptation and environmental sustainability through decisions to landscape and manage their residential properties.


In this chapter, we review the potential impacts of climate change on environmental sustainability in urban ecosystems and highlight the role of urban and suburban residents in conserving biodiversity. We focus extensively on the interactions of homeowners and residential landscapes in urban coastal and desert environments.

Practical implications

Understanding how human-environment interactions are linked with a changing climate is especially relevant for coastal and desert cities in the United States, which are already experiencing visible impacts of climate change. In fact, many homeowners are already making decisions in response to environmental change, and these decisions will ultimately shape the future structure, function and sustainability of these critically important ecosystems.

Social implications

Considering the close relationship between biodiversity and the health and well-being of human societies, understanding how climate change and other social motivations affect the landscaping decisions of urban residents will be critical for predicting and enhancing sustainability in these social-ecological systems.




This work was supported by National Science Foundation SEES Fellowship awards to S. Scyphers (OCE-1215825) and S. Lerman (DEB-1215859). We thank W. Holt for comments on our proposal and manuscript.


Scyphers, S.B. and Lerman, S.B. (2014), "Residential Landscapes, Environmental Sustainability and Climate Change", From Sustainable to Resilient Cities: Global Concerns and Urban Efforts (Research in Urban Sociology, Vol. 14), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 81-100.



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