Measuring the Effect of Urban Canopy Cover on Home Values in Worcester, Massachusetts

Authors: Gemma Wilkens*, Clark Univercity
Topics: Urban Geography, Human-Environment Geography, Landscape
Keywords: Landscaping, Urban Canopy Cover, Home Value, Green Amenities, Gateway Cities, Environmental Justice
Session Type: Illustrated Paper
Day: 4/11/2018
Start / End Time: 1:20 PM / 3:00 PM
Room: Canal St. Corridor, Sheraton, 3rd Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

Urban tree canopy cover is attributed to numerous public benefits, such as energy savings from shade-cooling, neighborhood aesthetics and carbon sequestration. This paper looks at the effect of canopy cover on property values in Worcester Massachusetts. A hedonic price model is used to estimate the effect of tree canopy on the assessed value of houses and apartments in Worcester Massachusetts. Massachusetts assessor’s data of square footage, parcel size and home configuration associated with individual properties was used to control for the effect of canopy cover. Its effects were regresses in three configurations, trees on private property, trees on the public way and trees in the block group in order to understand the scope and astatic of resident utility for urban tree canopy. Further, canopy cover was regressed on single and multi-family homes separately to understand differences in what homeowners and apartment owners are willing to pay for canopy cover. The results of this study provide insight into the utility of urban tree planting within low-income urban communities and contribute to a larger body of knowledge around the disproportionate distribution of canopy cover in urban communities based on income.

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