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Economic Benefits of Parks

Conservation: An Investment that Pays - The Economic Benefits of Parks and Open Space

2009
Authors: Erica Gies
Organizations/Sources: Trust for Public Land
This report reviews the literature, including case studies, dealing with the economic benefits of creating parks, preserving working land, preserving land prone to flooding, conserving ecosystem benefits, and preventing sprawl development. Parks and preserved lands boost land values and property taxes, attract residents and businesses, encourage economic development, boost the economy of surrounding areas, save money over some types of development, preserve ecosystem services, and reduce health care costs. One example given in the paper is how New York used $1.2 billion to restore and protect natural land in New York City’s watersheds, which prevented the need to build a $6-$8 billion water filtration plant.
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Jul 29, 2015
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2878 times

Economic Impact of National Parks

2011
Organizations/Sources: Headwater Economics
Headwaters Economics created this interactive web page to show how protected public lands such as national parks can play an important economic role for local communities. The web-based tool lists visits, non-local spending, and the number of jobs created in gateway communities for each of the National Park Service units. The greatest value of natural amenities and recreation opportunities often lies in the land’s ability to attract and retain people, entrepreneurs, their businesses, and the growing number of retirees who locate for quality of life reasons.
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Last Modified
Aug 05, 2015
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2131 times

How Cities Use Parks for Economic Development

2002
Organizations/Sources: American Planning Association
This study gives five key points on how city parks are a source of positive economic benefits and provides case studies for each. City parks positively affect real property values; increase municipal revenues; attract and retain affluent retirees; attract knowledge workers and companies; and attract homebuyers.
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Aug 13, 2015
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4025 times

How Much Value Does the City of Philadelphia Receive from its Park and Recreation System?

2008
Organizations/Sources: Trust for Public Land
In 2007, Philadelphia’s park system provided the city with $23.3 million in increased tax revenue, $729 million in increased resident wealth, $16 million in savings of governmental expenditures and $1.15 billion in resident savings. This includes benefits from parks enhancing the value of nearby properties, tourist spending, decreased stormwater treatment costs, the value of recreation that occurred at parks, health benefits from exercise done in parks, the absorption of air pollutants by the city’s trees and shrubs, and community cohesion benefits.
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Jul 29, 2015
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2472 times

How Smart Parks Investment Pays Its Way

2003
An extensive analysis of New York City’s parks shows that strategic investment in revitalizing parks yields significant economic returns to the city, investors and neighboring communities. While not all park investments have generated economic returns, strategic planning, effective maintenance and community involvement can lead to successful park investments that create economic revitalization. One success case provided in this study is Bryant Park, which, after a complete overhaul in the 1980s, reopened and is now a major draw for both tourists and local residents, seeing 20,000 visitors each day. Between 1990-2002, asking rents for commercial office space near the park increased between 115% and 225% as compared to increases ranging from 41% to 73% in the surrounding submarkets.
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Jul 29, 2015
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3085 times

Measuring the Economic Value of a City Park System

2009
Authors: Ben Welle and Peter Harnik
Organizations/Sources: Trust for Public Land
This paper describes seven economic benefits of parks and provides a case study for each. Parks increase the property value of nearby properties; lead to increased sales tax revenue from spending by tourists who visit primarily because of a city’s parks; provide city residents with free or low cost recreation; provide residents with a multitude of ways to stay healthy; create stronger, safer and more successful neighborhoods; lower stormwater treatment costs; and reduce health care costs by absorbing air pollutants and reducing the impacts they have on residents’ cardiovascular and respiratory systems.
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Jul 29, 2015
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2397 times

Smart Collaboration: How Urban Parks Can Support Affordable Housing

2009
Authors: Peter Harnik and Ben Welle
Organizations/Sources: Trust for Public Land
This paper focuses on the role mixed-income infill housing and a network of parks can play in increasing city density, increasing access to parks for residents of all income levels, and strengthening cities. Key findings include: States can promote or reward the construction of affordable housing through the offer of funding for parks; cities can integrate the planning and creation of affordable housing and parks; private developers can build compact developments that allow for walking, affordable housing, and parkland; and community development corporations can expand their work beyond housing to include parks.
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Aug 05, 2015
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1905 times

The Benefits of Parks: Why America Needs More City Parks and Open Space

2006
Authors: Paul M. Sherer
Organizations/Sources: The Trust for Public Land
City parks and open space improve our physical and psychological health, strengthen our communities, and make our cities and neighborhoods more attractive places to live and work. Numerous studies have shown the social, environmental, economic, and health benefits parks bring to a city and its people. For example, they attract tourists, serve as community signature pieces, offer a marketing tool for cities to attract businesses and conventions and host festivals, concerts and athletics events, as is the case in Minnesota’s Chain of Lakes park, which is the state’s second-biggest attraction.
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Jul 29, 2015
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7706 times

The Economic Benefits of Cleveland Metro Parks

2013
Organizations/Sources: The Trust for Public Land
Study finds that Cleveland-area parks and trails enhance property values, provide recreational opportunities, improve human health, attract visitors, and provide natural goods and services such as filtering air pollutants and managing stormwater. Additionally, they support local jobs, boost spending at local businesses, and generate local tax revenue.
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Sep 20, 2017
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46 times

The Economic Benefits of Denver's Park and Recreation System

2010
Organizations/Sources: The Trust for Public Land
Study calculates the economic benefits of the city's parks, including $18 million net income from tourist spending, $30 million in boosted property values, and $804,000 million in stormwater management savings.
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Sep 20, 2017
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43 times

The Economic Benefits of Johnson County Park and Recreation District

2015
Organizations/Sources: The Trust for Public Land
Study analyzes the economic benefits of parks and trails in Johnson County, including boosted property values, stormwater management, tax revenues, and tourism.
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Sep 20, 2017
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45 times

The Economic Benefits of Open Space, Recreation Facilities and Walkable Community Design

2010
Organizations/Sources: Active Living Research
This article reviews a sizable body of peer-reviewed and independent reports on the economic value of outdoor recreation facilities, open spaces and walkable community design. Open spaces such as parks and recreation areas can increase residential property values and property tax revenues for local governments; it is less expensive to provide roads, water and sewer services to homes in compact, walkable developments than it is to homes in large, suburban developments; and the parks and the open spaces and greenbelts offered by compact walkable neighborhoods create higher housing prices and marketing opportunities.
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Jul 29, 2015
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2501 times

The Economic Benefits of San Francisco's Park and Recreation System

2014
Organizations/Sources: The Trust for Public Land
Study calculates the economic benefits of San Francisco's parks, including $431 million net income from tourist spending and $122 million in boosted property values.
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Sep 20, 2017
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48 times

The Economic Benefits of Seattle's Park and Recreation System

2011
Organizations/Sources: The Trust for Public Land
Study evaluates the economic value of Seattle's parks, related to property value, tourism, direct use, health, community cohesion, clean water, and clean air. The parks generate nearly $20 million in tax revenue, boost property values by $80 million, and save residents $64 million in medical costs.
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Sep 20, 2017
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73 times

The Economic Benefits of the Park and Recreation System in Mecklenburg County, NC

2010
Organizations/Sources: The Trust for Public Land
Study calculates the economic benefits of the county's parks, including $19 million net income from tourist spending, $10 million in boosted property values, and $4 million in savings from reduced air pollution.
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Sep 20, 2017
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45 times

The Economic Benefits of the Park and Recreation System in San Jose, CA

2016
Organizations/Sources: The Trust for Public Land
By providing park areas and access to an array of free or low-cost outdoor activities, such as biking, exercising, exploring nature, gardening, hiking, picnicking, swimming, walking, and wildlife viewing, San José generates numerous economic benefits within the local community. Parks, trails, and community centers enhance property values, provide recreational opportunities, improve human health, attract visitors, and provide natural goods and services such as filtering air pollutants and managing stormwater.
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Sep 20, 2017
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75 times

The Economic Significance and Impact of Pennsylvania State Parks: An Assessment of Visitor Spending on the State and Regional Economy

2010
In 2008, Pennsylvania’s state parks hosted 33.6 million visitors who spent $738 million on their trips, which includes a $191.4 million impact from out-of-state visitors. The direct effects of this were $174.5 million in wage/salary income and 8,439 jobs and these jobs generated $354.6 million in secondary sales. This economic impact analysis of Pennsylvania’s state parks includes an overall economic analysis, a one-page fact sheet for each park and results of similar studies from other states.
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Aug 05, 2015
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2617 times

The Economic Significance and Impact of Pennsylvania State Parks: An Updated Assessment of 2010 Park Visitor Spending on the State and Local Economy

2012
In 2010, Pennsylvania’s state parks hosted 37.9 million visitors who spent $859 million on their trips, including $201 million in spending by out-of-state visitors. The direct effects of this were 9,435 part-time and full-time jobs; $227.2 million in wages, salaries and payroll benefits; and $360.6 million in value added benefits. This report includes both statewide and park specific analyses and a comparison the results of similar studies from other states.
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Jul 29, 2015
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4137 times

The Impact of Wilderness and Other Wildlands on Local Economies and Regional Development Trends

Authors: John L. Crompton
Organizations/Sources: USDA Forest Service Proceedings
Although visitor spending in surrounding communities is the most obvious economic impact of wilderness areas, the designation of wilderness areas also attracts new residents and businesses, creates a high number of jobs in recreation-based industries, increases the tax base and has long term benefits for industries such as commercial fisheries. The influx of new residents and businesses can also change a community’s culture, cause a housing shortage and increase crime congestion and crime.
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Jul 29, 2015
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The Value of Open Space: Evidence from Studies of Nonmarket Benefits

2005
Organizations/Sources: Lincoln Institute of Land Policy
A review of the now quite extensive economics literature on the value of open space, this study covers more than 60 articles published in the past 25 years that use the various methodologies. The analysis focuses primarily on the value of open space in and around urbanized areas, including parks, greenbelts, natural areas and wildlife habitats, wetlands, and farmland.
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Aug 12, 2015
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2670 times

Why America Needs More City Parks & Open Space

2004
Organizations/Sources: The Trust for Public Land
This white paper outlines the critical need for city parks, particularly in inner-city neighborhoods. It address the social, environmental, economic, health and community development benefits parks bring to a city and its residents.
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Aug 13, 2015
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2666 times