We often think of green infrastructure as a duty or burden we “should” take on, but in truth, implement GI systems leads to major cost savings for individuals and cities.
“Hmm, wouldn’t it be great if I could spend more money for fewer environmental benefits?”
… said no one ever.
But the truth is, today’s property values often suffer deeply for lack of environmental planning and management. This is true for properties of all types, from residential to commercial, condos to office parks, hospitals to schools.
So, how do we improve property values with green infrastructure? Here’s a brief overview.
The Impact of Green Infrastructure on Property Values
While a rooftop garden makes a sweet setting for a barbecue, it also creates a major hike in property value, says a study by the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Center for Economic
“Using a hedonic pricing model, their results indicated that a recreational rooftop garden increased property values by about 11 percent,” the study says, while rooftop veggie gardens may increase it by 7 percent.
Those benefits even confer on surrounding properties, potentially raising property values of those within 500 feet of the garden by 5 percent, and by 2 percent up to 1,000 feet.
The result? Better home prices and better neighborhoods.
Trees also add substantial value to properties (find out how much your trees are worth here), while landscaping adds as much as 7 percent to office building rental rates.
And when individuals and cities work together, things get even more exciting.
What Can Cities Do to Improve Property Values with Green Infrastructure?
It is easiest to improve property values with green infrastructure when cities and individual stakeholders work together.
According to a report in Ecological Economics, every 10,000 gallons that flowed into New York waterways cost $12,000 in management measures down the line. Without proper stormwater retention and detention practices, we create massively higher property costs, plain and simple.
According to a report compiled by the EPA, using Lancaster, Pennsylvania as its subject, implementing a citywide Green Infrastructure Plan can make a huge economic difference.
“Within the CSS area, the Plan was estimated to provide approximately $2.8 million in energy, air quality, and climate-related benefits annually,” the report explains.
“In addition, the Plan was estimated to reduce gray infrastructure capital costs by $120 million and to reduce wastewater pumping and treatment costs by $661,000 per year.”
Considering the Plan would cost roughly $51.6 million if it were rolled into existing green infrastructure projects, and $94.5 million if it were implemented in a standalone manner, that’s a pretty massive savings.
Obviously, these benefits relate mainly to stormwater systems. Implementing green roofs, installing permeable pavers and other systems help to improve property values as well, and citywide measures can substantially increase the funds available for such projects.
Want to find out how to improve your property with green infrastructure? We want to help you, so get in touch today.