How Cities Use Parks for Economic Development

Long time Pittsboro Parks Blog readers know that the relationship between Parks and Economic Development is one of my favorite topics. I was recently inspired by a recent planning conference to revisit material produced by the American Planning Association. I'm glad that I did because I came across this great white paper which reinforces how beneficial parks are to communities' bottom lines.

I love the fact that the report uses research from non-planning related organizations like the National Association of Home Builders who found that 65 percent of home shoppers surveyed felt that  parks would seriously influence them to move to a community.  

The full report in pdf format can be found here, and an html version is available here, but a quick executive summary and a list of key points is available below.  I'll cover each key point in more detail in subsequent posts.  

Executive Summary

Parks provide intrinsic environmental, aesthetic, and recreation benefits to our cities. They are also a source of positive economic benefits.They enhance property values, increase municipal revenue, bring in homebuyers and workers, and attract retirees.
At the bottom line, parks are a good financial investment for a community. Understanding the economic impacts of parks can help decision makers better evaluate the creation and maintenance of urban parks.
Key Points
1) Real property values are positively affected.
2) Municipal revenues are increased.
3) Affluent retirees are attracted and retained.
4) Knowledge workers and talent are attracted to live and work.
5) Homebuyers are attracted to purchase homes.


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