Green Infrastructure Valuation Toolkit (GI-Val)
The Green Infrastructure Valuation toolkit provides a set of calculator tools to assess the value of a green asset or a proposed green investment. Where possible, the benefits of green infrastructure (GI) are given an economic value. Other quantitative contributions (e.g. number of jobs) and qualitative contributions (e.g. case studies or research) can also be provided to give a complete view of the value of an asset.
Data about the project area and local population statistics in an Excel spreadsheet.
Tables/ statistics/ reports; Cost-benefit assessment
How does it work?
The tool assesses the potential benefits provided by green infrastructure (e.g. a greenspace) in a defined project area. Benefits are grouped into 20 ecosystem service function categories (14 of which are currently working). The user must identify which functions are relevant for their project, and then provide input data. The tool uses additional data from key published studies and sources including Defra, Natural England, Forest Research and Ecotec. GI-Val provides insight into key evidence and concepts from a range of sectors including economic development and regeneration, public health and nature conservation. The economic valuation aspect of the tool means that it has the potential to translate findings into a business case, for example, to inform land audits, reviewing development proposals or making cases for funding to improve urban greenspaces.
Key data sources:
Terrestrial, freshwater or marine focus?
- Marine Focus
User Time Requirements:
Depends on scale, but a site 20-200ha 2 days including research on local factors such as house prices, local population etc.
Paul Nolan and Tom Butlin, Mersey Forest Team. Tom was tragically killed in a climbing accident in 2020. GI – Val is a legacy to the excellent work that he developed.
The toolkit is currently being released as a prototype. This allows interested organisations or individuals to experiment and test out the tool.
The toolkit provides a means of undertaking a broad Value for Money assessment but this is indicative and cannot replace more rigorous formal project appraisal techniques.
- Third party reviews/ cross: This tool was reviewed in the 2013 Natural England review of green infrastructure valuation tools carried out by eftec/Cascade (access report here). 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).