This presentation will begin with an overview of seven categories of economic benefits generated by city park systems and how to measure those benefits. The benefit categories include enhanced property value, recreational use, health of area residents, tourism, stormwater infiltration, air pollution removal, and economic development. The Trust for Public Land will present results from cities where they have previously worked and sources of publicly available data you can use.
We know the benefits of investment in parks, open space, and open space networks are both qualitative (felt) and quantitative (observed), yet park champions often need to provide estimates of a return on investment, measured in benefit or value creation. “Value creation,” which is not universally defined, can be project-specific, and an over-emphasis on economics often leaves equity behind. HR&A will discuss examples of building narratives of “public benefits” including both qualitative and quantitative benefits to tell the whole story within the economic and political context so that we can identify and mobilize supporters, build public-private partnerships, and unlock sources of funding.
Given the many stakeholders affected by parks, managing parks, and funding parks, credible impact studies on parks are a very useful tool for planning and in stakeholder management. Conducting multifaceted studies on large parks requires a multidisciplinary approach that goes well beyond quantifying economics. The Balboa Park Conservancy partnered with San Diego State University to look at the many impacts the park has on the economy, the environment and on social issues such as health and youth. The study has served as an objective platform for many dialogues with a diverse group of stakeholders including politicians, the public, and the 85 organizations operating in the park.
Hosted by the ASLA Parks & Recreation Professional Practice Network
Understand the types of economic benefits that can result from parks.
Understand what economic information is publicly available and how to use this information to make an argument in favor of investments in parks.
Articulate the benefits and challenges of working with a university on this type of work.
Understand how a multidisciplinary approach offers a more powerful impact study.
Create a stakeholder management strategy that engages a diverse group in ways that are meaningful to them.