Speaker: Dr. Hayk Khachatryan, Associate Professor, Food and Resource Economics Department, Mid-Florida Research and Education Center, University of Florida
This presentation will discuss homeowners’ preferences for alternative / partial turfgrass residential landscapes, based on a study conducted in Florida. In the past several decades, urban sprawl in the U.S. has substantially increased the area of extensively landscaped residential areas. Previous research showed that many homeowners consider well-maintained urban landscapes as positive socio-economic conditions. However, the tradeoff that many homeowners do not consider, or are simply unaware of, is that improper landscaping practices may result in adverse environmental consequences. These negative externalities, if not managed well, will affect the quality of residents’ lives over long term. Although alternative landscapes have the potential to improve natural resource conservation, maintenance requirements and curb appeal attributes are two major considerations that influence homeowners’ preferences and choice decisions. In this workshop, researchers will discuss how homeowners visually examine different landscape designs (using eye tracking equipment) while providing ratings of perceived maintenance and visual appeal of such landscapes.