A cost-benefit analysis of Pittsburgh's street tree program using software developed by the USDA Forest Service called STRATUM, showed that Pittsburgh's 29,641 publicly managed street trees provide cumulative benefits to the community valued at an average of $81 per tree annually, for a gross total value of $2.4 million annually. When the city’s annual $816,400 in tree-related expenditures are considered, the net annual benefit to the city is $1.6 million, or $53 per tree per year.
This research in Philadelphia looks at buyers’ willingness to pay more for property in neighborhoods that have undergone greening. Greening works to transform blighted vacant lots through debris removal, community gardens, and newly landscaped commercial corridors.
This paper reviews research concerning urban forest structure, function, and value, with emphasis on results from the Chicago Urban Forest Climate Project. In 1991, the $59 million in benefits from its trees in energy savings, air-pollution mitigation, avoided runoff and other benefits far outweighed the $21 million in costs of planting and maintenance. It takes between 9 and 18 years to pay back planting and maintenance costs.
Businesses that invest in trees realize far reaching and ever growing returns: they increase property value, increase the amount shoppers will pay for products, decrease air conditioning needs, and increase employee productivity, satisfaction and retention. Trees decrease health care costs by luring people outside and encouraging increased physical activity and by providing cleaner, safer air.
Starting in 1995, the New Kensington neighborhood of Philadelphia was revitalized with street tree plantings, the planting of grass and trees on vacant lots, and the conversion of vacant lots to community gardens or side yards for adjacent homeowners. The goals were improving the community’s appearance, curbing population loss, attracting new residents, and encouraging reinvestment. There was a $4 million gain in property value through tree plantings and a $12 million gain through lot improvements.
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.