Valuing diversity and spatial pattern of open space plots in urban neighborhoods
This study evaluates how urban residents value variety, spatial configuration, and patterns of open space in their neighborhoods. Quantitative matrices that were borrowed from landscape ecology were first used to measure the variety and spatial arrangement of open space plots and landuses around houses. Amenity values of those measures were then evaluated in a hedonic regression that was corrected for identification problem caused by the endogeneity of landuse variables. Empirical estimates from this research reveal that urban residents positively valued the varieties of open space but negatively valued the diversity within developed land uses in their neighborhoods. Similarly, open space plots with square shape and smooth, straight edges were preferred to those with more complex shapes and irregular edges. Further, residents preferred open spaces in few larger plots to many smaller pieces that are scattered throughout the neighborhood. Findings from this study will be useful in enhancing the quality and amenity value of open spaces and conceivably increase local property tax base.
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