Factors affecting the visual preference of stormwater managmeent design alternatives for residential boulevards

Waddick, Paula
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University of Guelph

Factors affecting the visual preferences for stormwater management design alternatives were examined using a background questionnaire and photographic preference survey representing eight different boulevard designs. Respondents included members of neighbourhood groups in Guelph, Ontario and Vancouver, British Columbia. The relationships between visual preference and demographic factors including age, gender, education, household income, environmental group membership and city of residence, and landscape-content factors including vegetation character, edge treatment, and interpretive signage were examined. Except for environmental group membership, all other factors examined in this study had significant effects on visual preference. The results revealed that respondents preferred more dense and diverse vegetation to mown turf and an alternative edge treatment to a curb edge, and that interpretive signage decreased visual preference. Knowledge of these factors could help focus the planning and public relations processes involved in the implementation of more ecologically sound stormwater management design alternatives.

visual preferences, stormwater management, design alternatives, boulevard designs