Willingness to pay for urban greenway projects

Greg Lindsey, Gerrit Knaap

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    56 Scopus citations


    This article reports the results of an experiment to estimate the value of an urban greenway and to test the validity of contingent valuation (CV), and discusses the implications of the results for greenway planning. The experiment concerned people's willingness to pay (WTP) for greenway projects in a publicly designated greenway in Indianapolis, Indiana, that is mostly in private ownership. In the summer of 1997, a CV survey and an actual solicitation for funds were mailed simultaneously to split samples of greenway property owners, greenway renters, and county residents. The survey and the solicitation asked about WTP for educational, cleanup, and other projects by the White River Greenways Foundation related to management of the Crooked Creek Greenway. The proportion of respondents willing to pay was much higher in response to the survey than the actual solicitation, and hypothetical mean WTP was much greater than the actual contributions. The results suggest that people value greenways, but that greenways mainly in private ownership may have mainly local value. These results provide evidence that CV experiments can help identify sources of support and suggest strategies for planning, but do not provide precise estimates of the value of public goods.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)297-313
    Number of pages17
    JournalJournal of the American Planning Association
    Issue number3
    StatePublished - 1999


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