Whilst the benefits of plants is truly priceless in overall terms, there are several ways in which they can provide real and quantifiable monetary benefits. Below are just a few examples of why trees and green-life make sound economic sense:
Increased Property Value. Landscaping yields a greater than one dollar return on every dollar invested, meaning that real and perceived property value is significantly increased.
Sell Homes Faster. Homes with large landscaped areas are proven to sell in less time, due to the fact that the home is perceived to be more valuable and desirable to home-buyers.
Boost Occupancy Rates. Landscape amenities and ornamental plants have a high correlation with occupancy rates of apartments, municipal, and business buildings. People are much more likely to want to live and work in an area that is landscaped than one that is sparse.
Cost-effective Method for Changing Perception. Landscaping is one of the most cost-effective methods for changing a community’s perception of land areas. Simply by landscaping a formerly crime-ridden park, a community can be transformed into a safe and friendly neighbourhood environment.
Cost-effective Privacy & Security. Trees and other urban green areas add cover and privacy to buildings. This also increases building security.
Beautification Draws Customers, Reduces Shopper Stress, and Enhances Store Appeal. Trees and other ornamental plants beautify otherwise bland areas. They help create a positive aesthetic environment that attracts and welcomes customers of local businesses. Stores with landscaped areas have proven to make shoppers feel more at ease, and also contribute to appeal of a store. This translates into expanded sales resulting from longer shopping occasions and to stores being able to charge slightly higher prices because of an increase in the perceived quality of the store.
Increased Contracted Services. Landscaping contributes to the economy of a local community through the employment of contracted services such as landscape design, construction, and maintenance. In turn, these services indirectly impact the economy through secondary consumption of products such as lumber and other building and landscaping supplies.
Ecotourism Revenue. The presence of beautiful parks and landscaping provides an opportunity for communities to reap the benefits from ecotourism. Ecotourism programs seek to provide education for travelers; provide funds for conservation; directly benefit the economic development and political empowerment of local communities; and foster respect for different cultures. Ecotourism also brings in new revenue streams and benefits the local economy.
Recreational Tourism. Parks and botanical gardens often bring visitors to cities, who in turn spend a great deal of money in the community and at the park. Separate and distinct from ecotourism, recreational tourism revenue represents another way that parks can benefit the local economy of a city. In addition to bringing in revenue from outside the local community (visitors), parks and other recreational attractions also bring in money from inside the local community (residents).
Green Industry Jobs. The upkeep and preservation of urban green habitats requires the creation of new jobs, which will boost the local economy and add to the financial prosperity of the community.
Green Roofs. Green roofs on public buildings greatly add to the aesthetic beauty of an area and also moderate the temperature on the rooftops. This can significantly reduces heat loads, thereby lowering energy costs and saving building occupants money.
Reduced Health Care Costs. Residents of an area with parks and landscaped areas save money through recreation, which improves their physical fitness and helps to lower their health care costs.
Loss of Biodiversity = Depletion of Resources. Natural urban areas that are not sustained risk the loss of biodiversity in urban areas. This could adversely affect local ecosystems and lead to a depletion of resources which would harm the local economy.
Tax Revenue Generation. By increasing the property value of homes around them, urban spaces also bring in a significant amount of tax revenue to the city. Property tax income can be so great that most urban parks pay for themselves.
Reduced Street Repairs. Trees along paved roadways reduce the temperature of the asphalt by shading the street. This temperature reduction reduces the amount of maintenance and helps to increase the longevity of asphalt. Paved roads and sidewalks are also much more enjoyable for pedestrians to walk along if trees are present, due the significantly reduced temperature of the asphalt.