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.
Example - Amherst, Massachusetts: Cluster housing with dedicated open space was found to appreciate at an annual rate of 22 percent, compared to a comparable conventional subdivision's ra te of 19.5 percent. This translated in 1989 dollars to a difference of $17,100.
Municipal revenues are increased.
Property Tax Benefits Example - Chattanooga: Improvements in Chattanooga resulted in an increase in annual combined city and county property tax revenues of $592,000 from 1988 to 1996, an increase of 99 percent.
Sales Tax Benefits Example - Oakland, California: The presence of the East Bay Regional Park District is estimated to stimulate about $254 million annually in park-related purchases, of which $74 million is spent in the local East Bay economy.
Affluent retirees are attracted and retained.
Retirees bring expendable income into their communities. If 100 retired households come to a community in a year, each with a retirement income of $40,000, their impact is similar to that of a new business spending $4 million annually in the community.
Knowledge workers and talent are attracted to live and work.
A survey of 1,200 high technology workers in 1998 by KPMG found that quality of life in a community increases the attractiveness of a job by 33 percent. Knowledge workers prefer places with a diverse range of outdoor recreational activities, from walking trails to rock climbing.
Homebuyers are attracted to purchase homes.
The National Association of Home Builders found that 65 percent of home shoppers surveyed felt that parks would seriously influence them to move to a community.