Return on Environment, the final version of The Economic Value of Protected Open Space in Southeastern Pennsylvania report has been released by the GreenSpace Alliance and the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission.
This report is the first to quantify the economic value of protected open space in the five-county Philadelphia metropolitan area. Preserved open spaces are so much more than just pretty places. They contribute to our local economies and property values. They help us save on everything from health care to recreation, and they perform valuable ecosystem services that naturally clean the air we breathe and the water we drink.
The study was completed by the Economy League of Greater Philadelphia, Econsult, and Keystone Conservation Trust. For organizations wanting to find out more, a PowerPoint presentation is available that not only summarizes the results, it highlights the region’s scenic open spaces.
The final report includes the appendices and an analysis of stormwater runoff in four sub-watersheds and estimates the value of stormwater retention provided by local open spaces which can retain more water than if the land is developed.
The estimated capital costs for constructing manmade stormwater detention facilities in the four areas total $87 million. An additional annual investment of $2.6 million would be required to maintain the new infrastructure. Given that the area studied is only 9 percent of southeastern Pennsylvania, this is a fraction of the total impact of protected open space.
Investing in open space is more affordable than ever in the current market. This report drives home the point that the return on an open space investment is great for our health and for our pocketbook.
A copy of the report is available online.
Contact Donna Pitz, Executive Director of the GreenSpace Alliance, by sending email to: email@example.com or 215-545-4570, extension 111, to request a speaker to give the presentation to your group.