Areas like Red Rock Canyon Open Space & Stratton Open Space contribute immeasurably to the quality of life in the Pikes Peak Region. They also play a role in attracting both individuals and businesses to the area. There’s now a growing trend for communities across the country to quantify those values. KRCC’s Michelle Mercer set out to apply some of those tools to see how Colorado Springs measures up.

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Links to the studies mentioned in this report:

The Economic Benefits of Denver’s Park and Recreation System
Measuring the Economic Value of Land Conservation (Cheyenne, WY)

This piece aired in April’s episode of Western Skies, which you can listen to here.


2 Responses to Quantifying the Value of Open Space

  1. Jan McMillan says:

    I am glad to see a continuing effort being made to quantify the economic value of our parks and open spaces as well as wetlands, forests, rivers and streams. Only when people, especially the policy and decision makers, see that these things have monetary value as well as quality of life value will they join the effort to preserve these natural resources. Thank You for your part in adding to this general awareness! Jan

  2. Kate Silz-Carson says:

    As an environmental economist who has been working in the field of non-market valuation (in which we develop techniques to estimate the benefits from environmental amenities), I appreciate the fact that you have chosen to inform the public about this issue. From a technical standpoint, I should add that with GIS software and spatial econometric techniques, it is at least (in principle) possible to separate out the effects of proximity and view on property value, as long as the two are not perfectly correlated. It is also possible to estimate the value of that good feeling you get when strolling through Red Rock Canyon, so sorry to say, it’s not priceless. Colorado is fortunate enough to have some of the leaders in this field at its universities – John Loomis at Colorado State, and Edward Morey and Nicholas Flores at CU Boulder.


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