Green Infrastructure Valuation Toolkit
Developed by a consortium of environment bodies and organisations in the United Kingdom
They can calculate the value of Green Infrastructure to assess the benefits from:
Woodland / Water courses / Coastal habitats / Highway verges / Parks / Urban trees / Private gardens / Grounds of hospitals, schools and business parks.
The calculator works out benefits:
- in monetary terms by applying economic valuation techniques where possible
- quantitatively – for example with reference to jobs, hectares of land, visitors
- qualitatively – referencing case where the scientific basis for quantification and/or monetisation is not yet sufficiently robust.
The calculator enables the user to calculate the costs/benefits associated with a project on:
- Climate change adaptation and mitigation e.g. carbon capture and storage, avoided carbon emissions and reduced energy consumption.
- Water management and flood alleviation e.g. reduced wastewater treatment costs, reduced energy and carbon emissions.
- Areas of natural beauty e.g. willingness of people to pay for a view of natural beauty
- Health and well-being e.g. health cost savings from reducing air pollution and green spaces for physical exercise.
- Land and property values e.g. impact of the environment on property prices
- Tourism e.g. number of people visiting nature spaces
- Recreation e.g. use of different natural environments by the local population
- Biodiversity e.g. willingness to pay for protection/enhancement of biodiversity
- Land management e.g. users calculate the annual estimate of the value of crops, timber and other saleable produce at market prices
The organisations involved explain the Green Infrastructure Valuation Toolkit was created because if green infrastructure is well managed it can bring many benefits that can contribute to sustainable economic growth. However, calculating benefits is a very complex task so the toolkit was developed to help actors make a business case for how these benefits directly contribute to a local economy, or provide wider non-market returns for society and the environment.
The argument for investing in green infrastructure is that it can:
- Support growth e.g. investing in green infrastructure can increase employment and tourism
- Stimulate investment e.g. promotes investment in green spaces that increases employment and property values.
- Mitigate against the impacts of climate change e.g. reducing the impacts of flooding
- Improve health e.g. green spaces make areas more healthy to live in
How is green infrastructure valued?
Standard valuation techniques are used to assess the potential benefits and functions provided by green infrastructure within a defined project area. However, not all benefits can be assigned a monetary value because a valuation technique does not exist or it is very difficult to prove a direct causal link between green infrastructure and the potential benefits.
This summary was prepared by Why Green Economy?. The views expressed have been paraphrased. See the original source for more information.