by P Zhu, Y Zhang
Land and Urban Planning 84:293-3002008
The value of urban forests has been considered from many economic perspectives, e.g., the valuation of ecosystem services and hedonic valuation. This study looked at the demand for urban trees and the factors that might influence that demand. The authors looked at 210 of the largest cities in the U.S. (populations over 100,000) and gathered data on tree canopy cover, population, land area, urban forest area per capita, income per capita, residential land value, and house values. Each city was identified as belonging to one of two main ecoregions. A regression analysis showed three main results: (1) The demand for urban forests is highly positively related to income. The income elasticity of the demand for urban forests was 1.76, meaning that for every 1% increase in income, demand for urban forests grows by 1.76%. (2) The demand for urban forests is inversely related to price. As the price of per unit of urban forest increases by 1%, demand falls by 1.26%. (3) Urban forest areas increase as population increases, but at a slower rate.