The economic value of public open spaces : an approach for the City of Cape Town
Thesis (MBA)--University of Stellenbosch, 2011.
The fact that parks and urban green spaces have value is no longer disputed. The literature is awash with evidence attesting to this fact. The City Parks Department of the City of Cape Town is responsible for the provision and maintenance of in excess of six thousand green public open spaces across the Metropolitan area but is currently challenged in terms of ensuring that the service it provides is recognized and that it is adequately resourced from City coffers. This research was undertaken to find a mechanism that the Department can utilize to establish the value of the service it provides within a language that people generally understand and appreciate, the language of money and economics. Using the economic theoretical frameworks and paradigms as context, the key considerations and challenges facing the City Parks Department was considered in terms of competition for adequate land, definitions and the various values which can be attached to public open spaces. Considering the data and information contained in the literature, case studies and established economic valuation approaches and methods, a Valuation Framework was devised for the City Parks Department. The Valuation Framework is meant to be used as a mechanism for establishing the economic value of the public open spaces for which the Department is responsible. It consists of four sections namely a Site Selection Matrix, Site Valuation Components, Valuation Approaches and Methods and a Seven-Step Methodology. The Framework is devised for application at site level but with the understanding that the accumulation of outcomes can be integrated to draw conclusions and inferences about the total economic value which is created directly or indirectly by the Parks Department through its service offering.