An excellent new report (“Valuing Arlington’s Community Parks and Open Space“) demonstrates the value of parks in our community dialogue about major issues, including:
- Siting school facilities and housing
The new report should help us avoid serious mistakes like Arlington’s decision to sacrifice Rosslyn Highlands Park to the interests of a private developer.
The new report is sponsored by the Arlington Park & Recreation Commission. The principal authors are Elizabeth Gearin, who has a PhD in Urban Planning and Development and William Ross, who has a PhD in Economics. Both are long-time Arlington residents. They combined their individual expertise to highlight both the qualitative and quantitative benefits parks provide.
Neither author has any direct financial interest that would be served by accepting their conclusions. They prepared this report as a community service. Backed by extensive research and analysis, the report cites both intangible and tangible benefits of parks and green space.
Intangible Benefits (traditional literature review)
Parks provide opportunities for exercise, creative play, and lowered stress levels.
- Community Cohesion
Parks reinforce the social fabric, providing opportunities for residents and visitors to participate in activities, socialize with one another, and form a neighborhood geographic focus.
Trees, shrubs and grasses improve air quality by reducing air pollution; ameliorating the urban heat-island effect with shade and cooling; acting as a noise barrier, and reducing urban runoff as roots capture and filter rainwater.
Tangible Benefits (economic analysis)
Some of the intangible benefits of parks are priceless, but the report provides a helpful methodological framework to quantify the tangible benefits of Arlington’s parks. The report quantifies for Arlington the dollar impacts of these 10 benefit categories:
- Increased Property Values from Park Proximity
- Increased Property Sales Taxes from Park Proximity
- Increased Value of Annual Property Sales from Park Proximity
- Direct Use Value for Park Users
- Tourism Tax Benefits Attributed to Parks
- Tourism Profits Attributed to Parks
- Health Value of Parks
- Storm Water Management Value of Parks
- Air Pollution Mitigation Value of Parks
- Community Cohesion Value of Parks
As summarized on the Arlington County website, the bottom line is that:
[T]he annual, ongoing benefits from Arlington parks and open space is $155 million. On top of that, “the existence of parks and open space may have resulted in a one-time increase in residential property values estimated at $160 million…”
These valuations represent a preliminary approximation. Arlington should study these issues further.
Arlington’s parks and open space are not “free.” When we use our parkland for other purposes, not only do we bear the replacement cost (if we even can afford it), we lose the benefits outlined in this excellent White Paper.
A soggy weekend is on tap after an otherwise pretty nice final week of September. Obviously this week’s big story was the devastation in Florida, the huge scale of which…
Share your input on the Arlington Forestry and Natural Resources Plan by October 3.
A proposed bridge for bicyclists and pedestrians between Crystal City and the Southwest Waterfront area of D.C. has received $20 million in federal funding to move forward. When complete, the…
A 3 BD/2 BA condo with views of the Washington Monument and a freshly painted 4 BD/2 BA home is included in Home Hunt Highlights.
Now you can have fun with your family and friends when deciding where to eat!
Just hop aboard The Lunch Train and set the destination for: breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner, or nightlife!
– No app necessary. Simply go to the website if you’d like!
– No account necessary
– Use your current location or a desired location
– Add restaurants you’re interested in, invite your friends, and play the game!
Lyon Park & Ashton Heights’ biennial home & garden biennial tour is back. The tour will include contemporary custom homes, older historic bungalows as well as renovated properties. One of the stunning homes on the tour is pictured above. In addition to beautiful & unique homes, the Villa & Vistas ’22 event will conclude with a festive reception at the Lyon Park Community Center at 414 N Fillmore Street, Arlington VA 22201. What could be better right?
All proceeds from this event will go to the Lyon Park Citizens Association (LPCA) towards our neighborhood jewel & hub, the Lyon Park Community Center (LPCC).
When: Sunday, October 2nd, Noon – 4 PM.
Where: Meet to get your tickets and the tour map at the Lyon Park Community Center (414 N Fillmore Street) We will have a table with information outside.
Join us as we explore Vini Franchetti & their two sister vineyards Passopisciaro (Sicily) and Vini Franchetti (Tuscany) for our Sicily/Tuscany Wine Dinner!
Sunday, Oct 9 @ 6pm
Special Guest: This wine dinner we will be hosting the wine maker