In the current economic climate, local scale investments are being examined to ensure that GI projects are cost-effective. There is a need for practical approaches that allow for economic growth while also improving and benefitting the environment and human wellbeing. The Green Infrastructure Valuation Toolkit has been developed in order to assess the benefits associated with green assets and proposed green investments, to help stakeholders choose between different green infrastructure approaches, and to help determine whether those benefits directly contribute to the local economy, or provide wider non-market returns for society and the environment.
Original geographic scope:
Terrestrial, freshwater or marine focus?:
Specific ecosystem services modelled:
- Shelter from wind - Uses data on nearby trees to estimate reduced building energy consumption and avoided carbon emissions from building energy saving. Monetary valuations provided for residential buildings.
- Reduction of urban heat island effect - Uses area of greenspace to estimate reduction in peak summer surface temperatures. Non-monetary valuation.
- Cooling through shading and evapo-transpiration - Calculates reduced building energy consumption for cooling and avoided carbon emissions from building energy saving for cooling using data on green roofs and air conditioning units. Monetary valuations provided.
- Carbon storage and sequestration - Calculates carbon stored in woodland. Model is part-functioning and provides monetary valuation.
- Interception, storage and infiltration of rainwater - Estimates energy and emission savings from reduced stormwater volume entering sewers and the reduction in wastewater treatment costs. Provides monetary valuation.
- Catalyst for community cohesion and pride - Currently only lists information on the number of greenspace volunteers.
- Provision of attractive opportunities for exercise - Estimates annual reduced mortality value from take-up of walking or cycling using information on local population density and GI routes. Monetary value provided.
- Air pollution removal - Estimates avoided economic costs for air pollution control measures using landcover and tree data.
- Setting for higher value residential and commercial properties - Estimates the economic uplift in residential land and property value.
- Reduction of absenteeism from work - Estimates the gross savings to employers as a result of workers walking or cycling to work.
- Tourism attraction - Estimates tourism expenditure resulting from visitor numbers and the monetary value of employment supported by tourism.
- Provision of recreation opportunities - Estimates the monetary value of recreation use by the local population.
- Provision, protection and enhancement of natural habitats - Estimates willingness to pay for protection / enhancement of biodiversity using information on site designations and local beneficiaries.
- Land management - Estimates the economic value of employment that is supported by land management.
Estimated working days to complete a project:
Technical support provided?:
The consortium steering group was chaired by Natural Economy Northwest, managed by Tees Valley Unlimited and comprised representatives from The Northern Way, Natural England, Design for London and the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE), with support from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and five economic development agencies: One North East, Yorkshire Forward, Advantage West Midlands, the Northwest Development Agency, and the London Development Agency.
The green infrastructure valuation toolkit was predominantly prepared by Genecon LLP, the consultant appointed for this work. The present User Guide and associated Calculator were brought to their current prototype form by CABE and Natural England.
Developer (organisation type):
- Local Enterprise Partnership.
- Local Government.
- Non-Governmental Organisation
- Economic development agency
- Private sector.
Paul Nolan and Tom Butlin, Mersey Forest Trust
Number of case studies outside the uk:
Examples of case studies outside of uk:
Third party reviews / cross:
This tool was reviewed in the 2013 Natural England review of green infrastructure valuation tools carried out by eftec/Cascade . Following this review, improvements were made to the way in which the output of the tool was presented (splitting the values into different types to avoid potential overlap / double counting).