Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Committee Chair/Advisor

L. Enrique Ramos-Santiago

Committee Member

Mary G. Padua

Committee Member

Colin Gallagher

Committee Member

Robert Baldwin


Within the framework of the city's green infrastructure, urban and suburban green coverage play a pivotal role in delivering substantial benefits to health, economy, and the environment. However, the permanence of these green coverage is threatened by dynamic changes in neighborhood socio-economic, spatial, and ecological elements and their loss or degradation presents a problematic issue. Social-Ecological System Theory (SES) offers a comprehensive framework for understanding the potential correlations between socio-economic trends and the degradation of green coverage. This research is based on a case study of the highly diverse megacity, Los Angeles (LA), which encompasses a wide array of built-environments, ecoregions, and outer-ring suburbs as the basic units of analysis. The study utilizes multivariate longitudinal and hierarchical statistical models to investigate the associations of elements and to test the hypothesis of a plausible link between neighborhood decline and degradation of green coverage. The results reveal that socio-economic elements of neighborhood decline of LA's outer-ring suburbs are statistically significant and associated to the loss of green coverage. The implications extend of concepts of "Adaptive Cycles" and "Panarchy" within the realm of SES. The research insights contribute to the fields of SES, urban planning, and urban economics by providing explicit documentation and integration of semi-natural elements in suburban contexts. The study underscores the predictive power of the models developed here for monitoring changes in neighborhoods and green spaces within cities. This research informs discussions on proactive policies aimed at the management, adaptation, reintroduction, or transformation of both private and public green coverage and contributes to the development of more resilient and sustainable cities, in the United States and beyond.



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