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Environ Manage. 2014 Sep;54(3):517-30. doi: 10.1007/s00267-014-0323-x. Epub 2014 Jul 11.

Residential preferences for river network improvement: an exploration of choice experiments in Zhujiajiao, Shanghai, China.

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Shanghai Key Laboratory of Urbanization and Ecological Restoration, East China Normal University, No. 500 Dongchuan Road, Shanghai, 200241, China.


River networks have both ecological and social benefits for urban development. However, river networks have suffered extensive destruction as a result of urbanization and industrialization, especially in China. River restoration is a growth business but suffers poor efficiency due to a lack of social understanding. Assessing the benefits of river system restoration and recognizing public preferences are critical for effective river ecosystem restoration and sustainable river management. This study used a choice experiment with a multinomial logit model and a random parameter logit model to assess respondents' cognitive preferences regarding attributes of river networks, and their possible sources of heterogeneity. Results showed that riverfront condition was the attribute most preferred by respondents, while stream morphology was the least preferred. Results also illustrated that the current status of each of three river network attributes was not desirable, and respondents would prefer a river network with a "branch pattern," that is "limpid with no odor," and "accessible with vegetation." Estimated willingness to pay was mainly affected by household monthly income, residential location, and whether respondents had household members engaged in a water protection career. The assessment results can provide guidance and a reference for managers, sponsors, and researchers.

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