Economic valuation of green and blue nature in cities: A meta-analysis

Marija Bockarjova*, Wouter J.W. Botzen, Mark J. Koetse

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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There is an increased interest in applying nature for addressing various urban challenges, such as those related to air pollution, climate change, and health, but the economic value of urban nature is not always well recognized. In this study we present a meta-analysis of a rapidly expanding literature that applied stated preference valuation methods to value green and blue urban nature in a variety of contexts. We estimate value transfer functions based on 60 primary studies that elicited urban nature values from in total more than 41,000 respondents worldwide. Moreover, we obtain insights into the main determinants of values of urban nature, in terms of study and methodological characteristics, types of nature, and ecosystem services. For example, using global and European value functions, estimates of the average value of an urban park vary between 12,000USD and 33,100USD, respectively, while estimates of the average value of urban forest vary between 3,000USD and 2,250USD, respectively. We apply these value transfer functions to natural interventions in several cities in Europe, illustrating how these functions can be used for estimating the value of specific natural areas in a variety of urban settings.

Original languageEnglish
Article number106480
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalEcological Economics
Early online date18 Nov 2019
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2020


This study was funded by the project NATURVATION (grant no 730243 ) of the Horizon 2020 Framework Programme of the European Union . We are also grateful to Esmee Gemke for her assistance with compiling the meta-study database and to Luke Brander for making the database of his previous meta-analysis available to us.

FundersFunder number
Horizon 2020 Framework Programme730243


    • Ecosystem services
    • Meta-analysis
    • Stated preferences
    • Urban nature
    • Value transfer


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