"The main objective of this study is to help fill a research gap in the literature concerning residents' perceptions of the environmental impacts borne by different residential development patterns. The study also examines attitudes about the relationship between land development and environment in general and the perceptions of provision of access to nature by different development patterns.Land use development patterns as they relate to environmental outcomes have been of recent scholarly interest (e.g. Alberti, 1999, 2000, Breheny, 1992, Owens, 1986, 1992, Banister, 1992, Johnson, 2001, Brabec et al., 2002, Arnold and Gibbons, 1996, Newman and Kenworthy, 1989). Urban and regional planning discourse maintains that the spread-out, low-density, automobile-dependent, and predominantly residential development patterns, often characterized as sprawl, are more harmful to the natural environment than the higher density, pedestrian- and transit-oriented, and land use integrated development patterns. Yet, despite the great relevance to planning and policy-making, residents' perceptions of these environmental outcomes of development patterns have rarely been explored (see Talen, 2001).A survey instrument was designed to explore perceptions regarding environmental impacts of residential development patterns, attitudes about environment and development. Two hundred eighty-three residents from urban, suburban, exurban, and open space conservation neighborhoods in two counties of Southeast Michigan in the United States constituted the sample. Through spatial analysis, a neighborhood typology was created and used to select the sample and to compute objective spatial variables employed alongside survey responses. Univariate and multivariate statistical analyses were conducted to examine environmental perceptions and role such perceptions play in shaping residential preferences.The main findings of this research are: 1). With the exception of urbanites, residents in general rated the exurban neighborhoods the best neighborhood type for the protection of habitats and air and water quality, suggesting that they may not understand the geographic scale of environmental impacts of land development. 2). Among the various environmental issues explored, residents appear to be the least clear about the relationship between water quality and land development. 3). Uncertainty about environmental merits of conservation neighborhoods was prevalent among residents of all neighborhoods, including, surprisingly, the residents of conservation neighborhoods. 4). Analyses of the perception of the relationship between land development and the natural environment in general show that these issues are complex and multi-faceted, with the different meanings that individuals attach to "nature" and the different ways they perceive "access to nature" contributing to this complexity.Major implications from these findings include the need for environmental education, which could be influential in changing residential preferences and moving towards ecological sustainability."