Evaluating Revealed Preferences for Street Tree Cover Targets: A Business Case for Collaborative Investment in Leafier Streetscapes in Brisbane, Australia
Many cities are seeking to optimise the ecosystem service benefits of urban trees by incorporating goals for increasing tree canopy cover into strategies that promote liveability and urban sustainability. We adapt revealed preference valuation techniques as a combined policy evaluation and business case tool with broader application to urban forest planning and investment. We use spatial hedonic price modelling of 2,299 house sales across 80 sample sites in 52 residential Brisbane suburbs, to reveal home-buyers willingness to pay 3.73% more for houses in streets with target levels of footpath tree cover (50% tree canopy coverage of the footpath zone by 2031) nearby (within 100m). An estimate of the contribution of 2010 levels of footpath tree cover (35%) to the prices of houses sold in 2010 ($US15.03 – 15.91 million) far exceeded annual costs to those home owners in local property taxes. Associated annual rates revenues ($US 0.51 – 0.53 million) to local government and stamp duty revenues ($US 0.53 – 0.60 million) to state government help justify ongoing collaborative investment to achieve target levels of footpath tree cover.
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