Does location matter? Measuring environmental perceptions of creeks in two San Antonio watersheds Academic Article uri icon


  • In the past, researchers in the field of environmental psychology have explained environmental perceptions primarily through socioeconomic and demographic factors. However, knowledge of and support for protecting specific natural features of the landscape should also be influenced by ones location, setting, and proximity to such features. This article focuses on residentsfamiliarity with and concern for two creeks passing through San Antonio, TX. Using Geographic Information Systems analytical techniques, we expand on previous studies by introducing driving distance from the creeks to identify the effects of this location-based variable on environmental perceptions. Specifically, we test the degree to which the actual driving distance respondents live from two creeks affects respondents knowledge and perceptions of the water bodies. We show that when controlling for socioeconomic and geographic contextual variables, the residential distance variable remains a significant factor in explaining both familiarity with the creeks and views on the level of water pollution in them. Based on the results, we discuss the implications of incorporating proximity factors in watershed planning and policy.

published proceedings


altmetric score

  • 3

author list (cited authors)

  • Brody, S. D., Highfield, W., & Alston, L.

citation count

  • 94

complete list of authors

  • Brody, SD||Highfield, W||Alston, L

publication date

  • March 2004