Selected by the World Urban Parks Applied Research Working Group
Helsinki Apartment ViewThis month's recommended research articles from around the world comprise a study of the impacts of different green space on apartment prices in Helsinki, and a study of the types of parks visited in weekdays versus weekends in Berlin.

Votsis, A.
Planning for green infrastructure: The spatial effects of parks, forests, and fields on Helsinki's apartment prices
(2017) Ecological Economics, 132, pp. 279-289.
As the importance of urban green spaces is increasingly recognised, so does the need for their systematic placement in a broader array of socioeconomic objectives. From an urban planning and economics perspective, this represents a spatial task: if more land is allocated to various types of green, how do the economic effects propagate throughout urban space?

This paper focuses on the spatial marginal effects of forests, parks, and fields and estimates spatial hedonic models on a sample of apartment transactions in Helsinki, Finland. The results indicate that the capitalization of urban green in apartment prices depends on the type of green, but also interacts with distance to the city centre.

Additionally, the effects contain variable pure and spatial spillover impacts, also conditional on type and location, the separation of which highlights aspects not commonly accounted for. The planning of green infrastructure will therefore benefit from parameterizing interventions according to location, green type, and character of spatial impacts.

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Bertram, C., Meyerhoff, J., Rehdanz, K., Wüstemann, H.
Differences in the recreational value of urban parks between weekdays and weekends: A discrete choice analysis
(2017) Landscape and Urban Planning, 159, pp. 5-14.

Urban parks offer city residents a broad range of opportunities for recreation. This paper explores whether preferences for urban parks are context-dependent, i.e., whether they differ between recreational occasions on weekdays and weekends.

Knowledge about such differences in behaviour and preferences could help decision makers in cities to optimise their portfolio of urban parks. Employing a discrete choice experiment for the case of Berlin, Germany, the analysis finds that preferences significantly differ between weekday and weekend recreation for some park characteristics.

For weekdays, respondents prefer urban parks in closer proximity to their homes while the size of the parks is not so important. For the weekend, larger parks with picnic facilities are preferred while distance matters less. Most important are, however, cleanliness and maintenance, regardless of whether a park is visited on weekdays or the weekend. The results underline the importance of considering different temporal contexts when preferences for outdoor recreation are concerned.

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