The use of economic valuation to create public support for green infrastructure investments in urban areas
Increasing urbanization has created pressure on land use. Today more and more land in urbanized areas is used for housing, industry, community services or other economic functions. However, green spaces have a proven positive effect on people living in the neighborhood of green spaces, as well as on people working or recreating in the urbanized area. Therefore, green infrastructure investments have been put high on the agenda in many European countries. In order to convince the public and other stakeholders of the usefulness of these kind of green investments, it is necessary to give a correct, understandable and easily repeatable method to value the investment. The current article describes a model that can be used to put the value of green infrastructure investments into economic terms. Evaluating the project at site scale and regional scale will give a complete overview of all direct, indirect and use values of the investment. By using cost–benefit as well as multiplier analyses the monetary values can be estimated. The article shows that using this model helps to justify policy's support for and investment in green space. âº Investments in green infrastructure are difficult to value. âº A correct, repeatable and understandable valuation contributes to public support. âº Combining cost–benefit and multiplier analyses shows the complete value of green investments. âº The VALUE model, as described in the article, can be used to estimate this value.