Green spaces provide economic boost

9th September 2013


Related Topics

Related tags

  • Natural resources ,
  • Ecosystems ,
  • Ecodesign ,
  • Biodiversity



Investing in parks, green roofs and river restoration can bring tangible economic benefits locally, according to a new study commissioned by Defra and Natural England

Researchers from Sheffield Hallam University and the Economics for the Environment Consultancy examined a series of green infrastructure projects from around the world and found that establishing more green spaces had financial benefits in addition to increased delivery of ecosystems services. Such benefits include job creation, boosting property prices and attracting new businesses and visitors to an area.

“The evidence shows that increasing the attractiveness of an area through investment in high-quality parks increases inward investment and property values in the proximity [and] impacts on the number of visitors attracted to, and spending in, the local area,” states the report.

The research cites the Glasgow green renewal programme as an example of such success. It has seen a 28% increase in the number of people working in the area and a 47% rise in council tax revenue following a £15.5 million park improvement project.

Meanwhile, the restoration of the Cheonggyecheon stream in Seoul, Korea, coupled with the creation of “manmade” wetlands and forests, has helped to boost tourist spend by £1.3 million. The initiative has also helped to reduce local temperatures by 3°C–6°C compared with other parts of the city, and cut levels of particulate air pollution by 35%.

The economic benefits of such initiatives are harder to demonstrate at the national level, however, with the report warning that visitors and financial investment brought into one area could potentially divert resources from other parts of the country.

Although the clearest national benefits from green infrastructure are those related to environmental cost savings and healthier populations, the study says these are also the most easily overlooked by policymakers because they are difficult to quantify and typically occur over a long time.

The report came as the largest green wall in London was completed at the Rubens at the Palace hotel in Victoria (pictured above).

The 21-metre high wall contains more than 10,000 plants and 16 tonnes of soil and was designed to reduce flooding in the area. Up to 10,000 litres of rainwater can be harvested by the wall and stored in tanks at the hotel. It will also improve air quality, deaden noise and help to regulate the hotel’s temperature throughout the year.

Transform articles

Water companies fail to hit environmental targets

None of England’s water and sewerage companies achieved all environmental expectations for the period 2015 to 2020, the Environment Agency has revealed. These targets included the reduction of total pollution incidents by at least one-third compared with 2012, and for incident self-reporting to be at least 75%.

30th July 2021

Read more

The UK’s pipeline for renewable energy projects could mitigate 90% of job losses caused by COVID-19 and help deliver the government’s ‘levelling up’ agenda. That is according to a recent report from consultancy EY-Parthenon, which outlines how the UK’s £108bn “visible pipeline” of investible renewable energy projects could create 625,000 jobs.

30th July 2021

Read more

Billions of people worldwide have been unable to access safe drinking water and sanitation in their homes during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a progress report from the World Health Organisation focusing on the UN’s sixth Sustainable Development Goal (SDG 6) – to “ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all by 2030”.

30th July 2021

Read more

The oil and gas industry is set to burn through its allocated carbon budget 13 years early unless decisive action is taken immediately, new analysis has found.

22nd July 2021

Read more

The UK will no longer use unabated coal to generate electricity from October 2024, one year earlier than originally planned, the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy has announced.

2nd July 2021

Read more

The UK government is not on track to deliver on its promise to improve the environment within a generation and is failing to stem the tide of biodiversity loss, a damning new report from MPs has revealed.

1st July 2021

Read more

Renewable energy will account for nearly 40% of the world's power mix by the end of this decade, overtaking coal within the next few years, according to research by GlobalData.

24th June 2021

Read more

The UK's solar energy capacity must treble over the next decade for the country to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, but is only set to double under a business-as-usual scenario.

18th June 2021

Read more

The Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures (TNFD) has today been launched to support financial institutions and corporates in assessing and managing emerging risks and opportunities as the world looks to reverse biodiversity loss.

4th June 2021

Read more

Media enquires

Looking for an expert to speak at an event or comment on an item in the news?

Find an expert