Paul H. Gobster

Paul H. Gobster
USDA Forest Service · Northern Research Station

MSLA, PhD, FASLA

About

120
Publications
39,514
Reads
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6,122
Citations
Introduction
Skills and Expertise
Additional affiliations
August 2006 - present
Northwestern University
Position
  • Adjunct Lecturer
August 1987 - May 2016
USDA Forest Service
Position
  • Research Landscape Architect
Education
September 1981 - August 1987
University of Wisconsin–Madison
Field of study
  • Landscape Architecture, Land Resources Inst. for Env. Studies

Publications

Publications (120)
Article
Full-text available
Landscape change occurs as a result of both human and natural forces. When changes are abrupt and drastic, they can negatively impact people who had become attached to a landscape’s prior character. Place-based models of landscape change assert that the strength of people’s attachments can influence their experience of and response to change. We ap...
Article
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This study examined the acceptability of different silvicultural treatments to restore pine barrens, an open, fire-dependent forest landscape type globally imperiled across the northern Great Lakes region of the United States and Canada. In an online survey, we asked family-forest owners (N = 466) in Northeastern Wisconsin about the acceptability o...
Article
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A pine barrens is an open, fire-dependent ecological community once prevalent in sandy areas of northern Wisconsin (USA). Efforts to restore pine barrens on public lands have been hampered in part because their character does not conform to many people’s ideals of Northwoods forest scenery, challenging land managers on how to balance social and eco...
Article
In many cities, high land vacancy has contributed to negative outcomes including visual blight, loss of sense of community and safety, and high crime rates. Although studies show that vacant lot greening programs reduce crime rates in high-vacancy areas, little is known about the impacts of resident-owner-based vacant lot repurposing initiatives on...
Article
Problem, research strategy, and findings. Several U.S. cities have implemented vacant lot greening programs as planning strategies to address decreased tax base, crime, and other issues associated with high land vacancy in marginalized neighborhoods, yet little is known about the benefits of programs that transfer city-owned lots to private owners....
Article
Many cities have addressed urban population shrinkage by adopting strategies to re-purpose vacant lots in ways that leave them beautified and groomed. This study investigates leisure behavior resulting in beautified and groomed vacant lots that resist dominant discourses – referred to as green leisure. We applied a mixed-methods research design wit...
Article
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Technology is transforming societies worldwide. A major innovation is the emergence of robotics and autonomous systems(RAS), which have the potential to revolutionize cities for both people and nature. Nonetheless, the opportunities and challenges associated with RAS for urban ecosystems have yet to be considered systematically. Here, we report the...
Article
Technology is transforming societies worldwide. A major innovation is the emergence of robotics and autonomous systems (RAS), which have the potential to revolutionize cities for both people and nature. Nonetheless, the opportunities and challenges associated with RAS for urban ecosystems have yet to be considered systematically. Here, we report th...
Article
Full-text available
Many post-industrial U.S. cities have developed programs to promote the greening of publicly-owned vacant lots, including initiatives in which homeowners can purchase nearby lots and turn them into yards or community gardens. These initiatives can result in greener landscapes in marginalized communities, but we know little about the spatial pattern...
Article
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Pine barrens are open‐canopy ecological communities once prevalent on sandy soils across the northern Great Lakes Region of the U.S. and Canada, though fire suppression and plantation forestry have now reduced them to a few isolated areas. Efforts to restore pine barrens are underway on some public lands, but lack of knowledge on the social and eco...
Article
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Condition and care are key expressions of landscape stewardship and are especially important in managing vacant urban lands. In this context, visible signs of stewardship have been associated with increased neighborhood sense of place whereas signs of physical disorder reflect perceived and actual crime. To date, assessments of condition/care and d...
Article
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Urban vacancy is a persistent problem in many cities across the U.S. and globally. Vacant land greening helps improve neighborhood conditions and initiatives that transfer vacant lots to neighborhood residents can return benefits to where they are most needed. We examined one such initiative, the Chicago Large Lot Program, which allows property own...
Article
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Research increasingly shows that greening activity can spur contagious or imitative behavior among nearby neighbors within residential landscapes. Krusky et al. (2015) examined this phenomenon in the context of vacant lots and found support for a "greening hypothesis" that residential yards near vacant lots that were converted to community gardens...
Article
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Conservation organizations undertaking ecological restoration and the lands they manage constitute a social-ecological system (SES). We implemented SES analysis to examine the relationship between diversity in organizational structure and restoration planning processes, and vegetation outcomes on the ground. Understanding the restoration consequenc...
Article
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LANDSCAPE AND URBAN PLANNING SPECIAL COLLECTION ON THE VISUAL ASSESSMENT OF LANDSCAPES: THEMES AND TRENDS IN VISUAL ASSESSMENT RESEARCH Edited by Paul H. Gobster, Robert G. Ribe, and James F. Palmer Landscape architects have been leading contributors to the academic field of visual landscape assessment research, and the professional practice of v...
Article
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This literature review introduces a collection of 18 articles that represent the field of of visual landscape assessment research, and the professional practice of visual impact assessment. The literature review is based on 1,845 articles identified in the Scopus database related to landscape perception and visual assessment that were published bet...
Article
Increasing the capacity of communities on the rural-urban fringe to accommodate sustainable growth is a key concern among resource management agencies. Decisions about the future of these landscapes involve difficult tradeoffs that underscore the importance of incorporating diverse stakeholder values and preferences into planning efforts. We assess...
Article
Urban vacancy is a pressing issue in many cities across the U.S. and globally. A variety of greening strategies have been proposed and implemented for repurposing vacant lots, and their success depends upon the extent to which greening goals address the social needs of residents. The primary contribution of this paper is to explore the relationship...
Conference Paper
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This introductory paper to the Visual Resource Stewardship Conference Proceedings describes efforts to develop and maintain professional capacity in the field of visual resource management (VRM). Large-scale energy development over the last two decades has been a major factor in the resurgence of activity in VRM, particularly with respect to visual...
Conference Paper
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This is a conference proceedings for the 2017 Visual Resource Stewardship Conference at Argonne National Laboratory. There are hyperlinked 32 articles and 7 visual case studies in the proceedings.
Article
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Extensive outbreaks of tree-killing insects are increasing across forests in Europe and North America due to climate change and other factors. Yet, little recent research examines visitor response to visual changes in conifer forest recreation settings resulting from forest insect infestations, how visitors weigh trade-offs between physical and soc...
Article
Extensive outbreaks of the emerald ash borer (Agrilus planipennis; EAB), an invasive forest insect, are having serious impacts on the cultural ecosystem services of urban forests in the United States and other countries. Limited experience with how such outbreaks might affect recreational opportunities prompted this investigation of visitors to a s...
Article
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The 606 is the world’s first multiuse elevated trail, extending for 2.7 mi (4.35 km) through diverse neighborhoods whose per capita of open space is one of the lowest in Chicago. The trail connects six ground-level parks and is managed for recreation, but it also serves as a cross-town transportation connector and was funded partially with transpor...
Article
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Public support is important to the success of natural areas restoration programs. Support can be especially critical in urban settings where stakeholders recreate in or reside near natural areas but may lack familiarity with practices for managing ecological processes. Surveys of on-site recreationists and nearby residents (N = 888) of 11 Chicago m...
Article
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We describe the rules, norms, and strategies (institutional statements) that characterize ecological restoration across 10 organizations in the Chicago Wilderness region. Our use of Ostrom’s IAD ADICO grammar tool is novel in both context (non-extractive resource management) and data type (qualitative interviews). Results suggest that, in contrast...
Technical Report
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The RESTORE (Rethinking Ecological and Social Theories of Restoration Ecology) project is an interdisciplinary, multi-institutional research endeavor funded by the National Science Foundation's Dynamics of Coupled Natural and Human Systems program. The goal of the project is to understand the links between organizational type, decision making proce...
Article
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We thank Thomas Kirchhoff (1) for agreeing that cultural values are important. As is explicit in our paper (2), we also agree that not all cultural values can be fit into the ecosystems services framework; however, we chose to focus on those that can. We are nonetheless considerably more optimistic about the number of cultural values and socioecolo...
Chapter
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Commonly accepted goals and practices of ecological restoration may serve for certain projects that are aimed to match with accepted standards of historical authenticity in terms of ecological diversity, structure, and function, particularly in less disturbed, large scale sites. This may not be the case with restoration projects in urban natural ar...
Article
Availability of public neighborhood parks is associated with physical activity. Little is known about how parks contribute to population energy balance. This study estimated energy expenditure associated with the use of neighborhood parks and compared energy expenditure by activity areas within parks and by neighborhood race/ethnicity and income. T...
Conference Paper
Background/Question/Methods Ecological restoration (ER) in the Midwestern region of the U.S. is steeped in history and controversy. The Chicago Wilderness alliance (CW) was formed to unite regional organizations to work together to improve land management and conservation efforts. Today more than 250 organizations have come together to advance the...
Article
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From time to time it is appropriate for editors to revisit a journal's aims and scope and assess whether the statement accurately describes what the journal is about to current and potential participants in the journal community as well as to broader societies of concern. With the third editorship of Landscape and Urban Planning now having been inv...
Article
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Cultural ecosystem services (ES) are consistently recognized but not yet adequately defined or integrated within the ES framework. A substantial body of models, methods, and data relevant to cultural services has been developed within the social and behavioral sciences before and outside of the ES approach. A selective review of work in landscape a...
Article
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Maps are central to our understanding of landscapes. When this Editorship began to revise the journal's Aims and Scope for presentation in a forthcoming editorial, we sought ways in which we could identify the core knowledge base and boundaries, however permeable, of what the journal community considers to be Landscape and Urban Planning (LAND). St...
Conference Paper
Background/Question/Methods . Our Chicago ULTRA-Ex research address a fundamental question: In a complex urban/metropolitan system, what are the convergences and tradeoffs between conserving biodiversity and the provisioning of ecosystem services to people? The research focuses on the Green Infrastructure Vision (GIV) of the Chicago Wilderness alli...
Article
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This study examined correlates of park-based physical activity (PA) among children in neighborhood parks. Direct observation was used to assess PA among children. Public parks in Tampa, Florida (n=10), and Chicago, Illinois (n=18), from low income and high income and racially/ethnically diverse communities. Subjects. Children (n=3410), coded as any...
Article
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In this paper we review and analyze the recent research literature on urban green space and human health and well-being, with an emphasis on stud-ies that attempt to measure biodiversity and other green space concepts rel-evant to urban ecological restoration. We first conduct a broad scale assessment of the literature to identify typologies of urb...
Article
What does ecological restoration mean in an urban context? More than half of the world’s population now lives in cities, and in response to the dynamic patterns of urbanization, a growing number of ecologists, land managers, and volunteers are focusing their efforts in and around cities to restore remnants of natural diversity (Ingram 2008). Ecolog...
Article
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Over the past 25 years Landscape Journal has made significant contributions to the scholarly base of knowledge needed for building the discipline of landscape architecture. The Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture (CELA), which owns Landscape Journal, recently identified five strategic goals for the journal: enhance subject-matter diversi...
Article
This chapter discusses three trends in people-wildlife interactions. First is direct interaction with wildlife through consumptive and nonconsumptive uses that is largely recreational in nature. Second trend is the restoration of landscapes and the wildlife, which depends on them. Third is indirect impact on wildlife caused by "amenity migration" w...
Article
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This study used observational methods to examine physical activity (PA) and selected correlates in 28 parks in Tampa, Florida, and Chicago, Illinois. We observed 9,454 park users within predetermined activity zones and coded their activity as sedentary, walking (i.e., moderate intensity), or vigorous PA. In Tampa, higher temperature, unorganized ac...
Article
Systematic study of human behavior in public parks and specific activity settings can inform policy to promote physical activity in diverse communities. Direct observation was used to assess physical activity in public parks in Tampa FL (n=10) and Chicago IL (n=18). Parks were selected from census tracts with high concentrations of white, African-A...
Article
Full-text available
Ecological restoration is becoming an increasingly popular means of managing urban natural areas for human and environmental values. But although urban ecological restorations can foster unique, positive relationships between people and nature, the scope of these interactions is often restricted to particular activities and experiences, especially...
Article
Ecological restoration is becoming an increasingly popular means of managing urban natural areas for human and environmental values. But although urban ecological restorations can foster unique, positive relationships between people and nature, the scope of these interactions is often restricted to particular activities and experiences, especially...
Article
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This collaborative essay grows out of a debate about the relationship between aesthetics and ecology and the possibility of an “ecological aesthetic” that affects landscape planning, design, and management. We describe our common understandings and unresolved questions about this relationship, including the importance of aesthetics in understanding...
Article
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Although research assessing both biophysical landscape conditions and social perceptions provide critical data on change, these methods are seldom integrated. In this study, we examined landscape change in the Central Iowa region by pairing quantitative data on changes to natural areas, streams, and housing density over the past 60 years with a qua...
Article
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The purpose of this paper is to discuss the shared interest of the public health and parks and recreation sectors in promoting active visits to parks. At the institutional level, both sectors have missions to promote physical activity and view parks as key components in attaining physical activity goals. While some balancing among park goals may be...
Article
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Communicating our fears about invasive species is tricky business, but ecological restoration offers a positive alternative message. ©2005 by the Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System.
Article
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This paper examines recreation and leisure research within the context of active living, and highlights an apparent gap between the current involvement of recreation and leisure researchers and the potential they could offer to this important and expanding area of inquiry. To illustrate this potential, I looked at two previous studies that focused...
Article
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Increases in the parcelization and development of private forestlands in the US and other countries have become a major concern of natural resource agencies and groups. This concern is particularly heightened in heavily forested areas such as Wisconsin’s “Northwoods,” where private lands make up a majority of the forest area and play a critical rol...
Article
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In this paper, we summarize findings from a series of interrelated studies that examine an urban greenway, the 150 mile Chicago River corridor in Chicago, USA, from multiple perspectives, stakeholder viewpoints, and methodological techniques. Six interdependent “human dimensions” of greenways are identified in the studies: cleanliness, naturalness,...
Article
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Parcelization, the process by which relatively large forest ownerships become subdivided into smaller ones, is often related to changes in ownership and can bring changes to the use of the land. Landowners, resource professionals, and others interested in Wisconsin's Northwoods were asked their views on parcelization in a series of stakeholder foru...
Article
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In response to widespread urban development, local governments in metropolitan areas in the United States acquire and protect privately-owned open space. We addressed the planner’s problem of allocating a fixed budget for open space protection among eligible natural areas with the twin objectives of maximizing public access and species representati...
Article
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Ervin H. Zube was a primary force among environment-behavior researchers, particularly those who helped develop the area of landscape perception and assessment. In this commemorative essay, the authors highlight some of Zube's significant contributions to environment-behavior studies and identify a set of his publications that has had an impact on...