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Front yards as green infrastructure: Fragmented yard ecosystems across single-family neighborhoods in Los Angeles


Efforts to incentivize green infrastructure on residential lands confront a range of challenges entangled in existing private property regimes. Land tenure fragments residential landscape management structures and limits who is able to make land cover changes on a property, exacerbating environmental problems and distributional inequity. This thesis explores how land tenure impacts front yard management practices and contributes to patterns of fragmentation and connectivity across residential landscapes in the City of Los Angeles. It assesses the relationships between land tenure and patterns of green infrastructure across neighborhood landscapes through the geospatial analysis of 120 yard surveys and a series of semi-structured resident interviews. Ultimately, it finds that owner occupancy is positively correlated with green infrastructure rich front yards, and identifies patterns of structural fragmentation and spatial mimicry across neighboring properties. It also provides further insights into the way socio-ecological influences shape landscaping decisions and build connectivity between residential yards.

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