Valuing Open Space and Land-Use Patterns in Urban Watersheds
This article presents the results of a hedonic property value analysis for an urban watershed in New Haven County, Connecticut. We use spatially referenced housing and land-use data to capture the effect of environmental variables around the house location. We calculate and incorporate data on open space, land-use diversity, and other environmental variables to capture spatial variation in environmental quality around each house location. We are ultimately interested in determining whether variables that are reflective of spatial diversity do a better job of describing human preferences for housing choice than broad categories of rural versus urban areas. Using a rich data set of over 4,000 houses, we study these effects within a watershed that includes areas of high environmental quality and low environmental quality as well as varying patterns of socioeconomic conditions. Our results suggest that, in addition to structural characteristics, variables describing neighborhood socioeconomic characteristics and variables describing land use and environmental quality are influential in determining human values. We also find that the scale at which we measure these spatially defined environmental variables is important. Copyright 2001 by Kluwer Academic Publishers
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