Defining The True Economic Value of a Park System

Klyde Warren Park, Dallas, Texas

Klyde Warren Park, Dallas, Texas

VERDUNITY is teaming up with HR&A Advisors, The Trust for Public Land, PROS Consulting and Wallace, Roberts & Todd this Fall to study the economic value of the City of Dallas park system. The goal of this project is to holistically quantify the economic, environmental and social benefits provided by one of the largest park systems in the United States. The comprehensive study will facilitate communication of the often overlooked value of the park system to ensure that maintaining and enhancing the system moving forward is a top priority.

The primary focus of the study will be the analysis of the following six distinct types of benefits provided by the park system:

Real Estate Development

The study will evaluate property value premiums and new development nodes related to existing and future parks and trails throughout the system. This analysis can be leveraged to unlock public investment for upgrades and expansion of the parks and trails system.

Tourism Benefits

Both specific parks and the system as a whole contributes significantly to tourism and the associated spending within multiple sectors of the local economy. The study will evaluate current performance and provide planning insight to maximize the tourism benefits moving forward.

Cost of Living

Programs and amenities provided by the parks system are often provided at little or no cost. These services provide real value and this study will evaluate their overall value by comparing it to the amount a resident would pay for similar services in the absence of the park programs.

Municipal Savings

Volunteer programs such as Friends of the Katy Trail and associated donations augment municipal value. The study will evaluate the savings to the City of Dallas created by similar programs across the system.

City-Building Brand

Well branded parks and trails similar to Klyde Warren Park serve to attract new residents and businesses to the City. The study will identify a conceptual direct impact provided by existing and future parks and trails within the system.

Environmental Benefits

VERDUNITY will lead the analysis of the economic impacts of environmental benefits attributable to parks in the system based on carbon sequestration and air quality, heat island mitigation, heat mortarlity, storm water management and brownfield remediation. Concurrently with the application of the ENVISIONTM system, the team will utilize Impact Infrastructure’s Business Case Evaluator to create a baseline economic value of the environmental benefits provided by the Dallas parks system. Opportunities to retrofit existing parks and trails with green infrastructure will also be evaluated and prioritized based on the expected environmental, economic and social benefits provided.

We’re very excited to be part of this groundbreaking project that is expected to kick-off in late August. We’re looking forward to providing similar services to other communities in North Texas that want to enhance their park systems and capitalize on the financial, quality of life and environmental benefits they provide. If you'd like to learn more about this initiative and many others like it that VERDUNITY is working on please contact me at mwilkins@verdunity.com.