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Green infrastructure—if spread smartly—increases apartment prices in the city of Helsinki

Green infrastructure—if spread smartly—increases apartment prices in the city of Helsinki

Provide urban green, but spread it smartly, is the message of a new study by FMI. Urban green raises the price/m2 of apartments by 1 -4 %, depending on type (park, urban forest, or open field) and location within the city.

Moreover, when existing or planned urban areas are provided with the correct—for their location—mix of green types, the price benefits are maximized. In case of mismatch, the benefit may be lost.

The study contributes to achieving a sustainable Helsinki, which entails both environmental and economic benefits from green infrastructure. The results help clear the popular misconception in land development that the economic benefits of green spaces are too unclear to justify preserving or investing in them. "However, the study does not suggest a "do not build" policy, but encourages to preserve a mix of green in existing built-up areas and include such mixes into planned developments", says researcher Athanasios Votsis from FMI.

More specifically, the study shows that in Helsinki, the mix of green land uses should be location-specific. As far as apartment prices go, Helsinki's dense and central neighborhoods need parks and forested patches, while suburbs need forests and open fields. For every density of urban development, there is a certain mix of green spaces that, when implemented, will capitalize in prices.

The study is based on spatial economic analysis and a refined economic-environmental dataset of apartment sales in Helsinki in 2000-2011, and confirms consensus across the world that green spaces have the capacity to generate economic value worth of millions, if planned carefully.

More information:

Researcher Athanasios Votsis,

Votsis A. (2017) Planning for green infrastructure: the spatial effects of parks, forests, and fields on Helsinki's apartment prices, Ecological Economics, 132: 279–289]




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