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A discrete-space urban model with environmental amenities

  • Tajibaeva, Liaila
  • Haight, Robert G.
  • Polasky, Stephen

This paper analyzes the effects of providing environmental amenities associated with open space in a discrete-space urban model and characterizes optimal provision of open space across a metropolitan area. The discrete-space model assumes distinct neighborhoods in which developable land is homogeneous within a neighborhood but heterogeneous across neighborhoods. Open space provides environmental amenities within the neighborhood it is located and may provide amenities in other neighborhoods (amenity spillover). We solve for equilibrium under various assumptions about amenity spillover effects and transportation costs in both open-city (with in- and out-migration) and closed-city (fixed population) versions of the model. Increasing open space tends to increase equilibrium housing density and price within a neighborhood. In an open-city model, open space provision also increases housing density and price in other neighborhoods if there is an amenity spillover effect. In a closed-city model, housing density and prices in other neighborhoods can decrease if the pull of the local amenity value is stronger than the push from reduced availability of developable land. We use numerical simulation to solve for the optimal pattern of open space in two examples: a simple symmetric case and a simulation based on the Twin Cities Metropolitan Area, Minnesota, USA. With no amenity spillover, it is optimal to provide the same amount of open space in all neighborhoods regardless of transportation cost. With amenity spillover effects and relatively high transportation cost, it is optimal to provide open space in a greenbelt at the edge of the city. With low transportation cost, open space is provided throughout the city with the exception of neighborhoods on the periphery of the city, where the majority of the population lives. A greenbelt still occurs but its location is inside the city.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Resource and Energy Economics.

Volume (Year): 30 (2008)
Issue (Month): 2 (May)
Pages: 170-196

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Handle: RePEc:eee:resene:v:30:y:2008:i:2:p:170-196
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505569

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  1. Brueckner, Jan K. & Thisse, Jacques-Francois & Zenou, Yves, 1999. "Why is central Paris rich and downtown Detroit poor?: An amenity-based theory," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 91-107, January.
  2. Nelson, Erik & Uwasu, Michinori & Polasky, Stephen, 2007. "Voting on open space: What explains the appearance and support of municipal-level open space conservation referenda in the United States?," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(3-4), pages 580-593, May.
  3. Marcus Berliant & Shin-Kun Peng & Ping Wang, 2004. "Welfare Analysis of the Number and Locations of Local Public Facilities," IEAS Working Paper : academic research 04-A011, Institute of Economics, Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan.
  4. Marshall, Elizabeth P. & Homans, Frances R., 2002. "Urban Planning And The Location Of Environmental Amenities," 2002 Annual meeting, July 28-31, Long Beach, CA 19610, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
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  6. Mitchell Polinsky, A. & Shavell, Steven, 1976. "Amenities and property values in a model of an urban area," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(1-2), pages 119-129.
  7. Mark R. Correll & Jane H. Lillydahl & Larry D. Singell, 1978. "The Effects of Greenbelts on Residential Property Values: Some Findings on the Political Economy of Open Space," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 54(2), pages 207-217.
  8. Mills, David E., 1981. "Growth, speculation and sprawl in a monocentric city," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(2), pages 201-226, September.
  9. Vossler, Christian A. & Kerkvliet, Joe & Polasky, Stephen & Gainutdinova, Olesya, 2003. "Externally validating contingent valuation: an open-space survey and referendum in Corvallis, Oregon," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 261-277, June.
  10. Flatters, Frank & Henderson, Vernon & Mieszkowski, Peter, 1974. "Public goods, efficiency, and regional fiscal equalization," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(2), pages 99-112, May.
  11. McMillen Daniel P. & McDonald John F., 1993. "Could Zoning Have Increased Land Values in Chicago?," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 167-188, March.
  12. Parks, Peter J. & Schorr, James P., 1997. "Sustaining Open Space Benefits in the Northeast: An Evaluation of the Conservation Reserve Program," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 85-94, January.
  13. C H Yang & M Fujita, 1983. "Urban spatial structure with open space," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 15(1), pages 67-84, January.
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  16. Wu, JunJie & Plantinga, Andrew J., 2003. "The influence of public open space on urban spatial structure," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 288-309, September.
  17. Robert E. Lucas & Esteban Rossi-Hansberg, 2002. "On the Internal Structure of Cities," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(4), pages 1445-1476, July.
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  20. Wu, JunJie, 2006. "Environmental amenities, urban sprawl, and community characteristics," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 52(2), pages 527-547, September.
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