Conference 2003

Conference 2003
Greening the City:
Bringing Biodiversity Back
into the Urban Environment


Green for Green - the Perceived Value of a Quantitative Change in the Urban Tree Estate of New Zealand

Eva-Terezia Vesely (School of Geography & Environmental Science, Auckland)

The urban tree estate impacts on the quality of urban life through the provision of a series of benefits that are aesthetic, ecological, social and economic in nature. However, most of these benefits do not have a market price and exact information on the type of values people attach to urban trees is scarce (Tyrväinen, 2001). In order to enhance a more comprehensive inclusion of human values into the planning and management of the urban tree estates, as well as to provide an input into the cost-benefit analysis of related policies and projects, the perceived value of a quantitative change in the urban tree estate of 15 New Zealand cities was measured by contingent valuation.

The results reveal an estimated NZ$116 million per year aggregated willingness to pay during a 3 year time period for the avoidance of a 20% reduction. The need to measure value using a series of metrics was reinforced by the finding that 58% of those who refused to pay the contingent bid said yes to contributing in the form of volunteer work. Also of interest for managers and policy makers is that 48% of the population find the supply and demand side of the urban tree estate in disequilibrium, indicating the imbalance in the favour of demand (95%) or supply (5%). The perceptions of the importance of a series of benefits and negative effects are different and the motivations behind people's interest in taking care of trees also vary.

If the support of the community for tree programmes is the goal, an understanding of the underlying motivations together with reinforcement of the benefits and management of the negative effects will be needed. If formulation of efficient land-use policies is intended, the comparison of benefits with the provision and management costs will be required. The findings of this study contribute to both.

Reference: Tyrväinen, L. 2001. Economic Valuation of Urban Forest Benefits in Finland. Journal of Environmental Management 62: 75–92.

Conference sponsored by:

British Council NZ
The Community Trust
Landcare Research

Follow this link to view other organisations supportive of the conference

Top of page

Home | Journal | Newsletter | Conferences
Awards | Join RNZIH | RNZIH Directory | Links

© 2000–2024 Royal New Zealand Institute of Horticulture

Last updated: October 12, 2003