Characterizing the Demand Side of Urban Greening to Inform Urban Planning – A Discrete Choice Experiment in the Paris Metropolitan Region
As the multiple benefits from exposure to urban green spaces (UGSs) are increasingly acknowledged, urban greening policies have become an important component of the urban political agenda. Most targeting strategies of future UGS development are based on the pursuit of an equal distribution of UGSs among residents. These strategies implicitly assume that the development of any type of UGS will have the same effect on citizens’ well-being, provided that their access is guaranteed. This paper questions this assumption and addresses the demand side of urban greening policies by evaluating which UGS characteristics are sought by urban dwellers. We apply a travel time-based discrete choice experiment (DCE) to capture the trade-offs between UGS characteristics (e.g., tree cover, size, presence of water, accessibility) and the travel time that citizens are willing to spend to reach a hypothetical UGS compared to a “stay at home” option. We discover that all the respondents have a disutility in choosing the “stay at home” option instead of a scenario of UGS development, especially when the UGS contains trees. This disutility is however much higher among outer-suburb inhabitants living in municipalities with relatively lower urbanization levels and rent prices. Further, the overall time budget dedicated to reach a UGS is much lower for inner-city residents compared to outer-suburb inhabitants. Inhabitants living in less urbanized areas place a higher value on a large UGS (> 1.5 hectares), while residents living in city centers do not seem to be influenced by this UGS characteristic. Our results suggest that strategies based on access criteria would benefit from being differentiated according to the urbanization levels of cities, as the inhabitants of city centers value nearby and multiple UGSs but not necessarily large UGSs, while the inhabitants of outer suburbs value larger UGSs, even when located farther away.
Citation: Ta M-T., Tardieu L., Levrel H. (2022) Characterizing the Demand Side of Urban Greening to Inform Urban Planning – A Discrete Choice Experiment in the Paris Metropolitan Region, Revue d’Economie Politique, Vol 132