Perceptions of ecosystem services, disservices and willingness-to-pay for urban green space conservation

Tian, Yuqing; Wu, Hongjuan; Zhang, Guangshi; Wang, Luocen; Zheng, Duo; Li, Sen. 2020 Perceptions of ecosystem services, disservices and willingness-to-pay for urban green space conservation. Journal of Environmental Management, 260, 110140.

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While planning and management of urban green space (UGS) remain primarily driven by policymakers and expert knowledge, increasing attention has been paid to the general public's perception of and demand for UGS. This study was conducted to provide price-related outcomes to support UGS-related decision making and achieve an improved understanding of the causal relationships underpinning the residents' willingness-to-pay (WTP) for UGS conservation. An extensive survey with 3000 urban residents from three provincial capital cities in central China (i.e., Wuhan, Changsha and Nanchang) was conducted. We applied structural equation modelling to examine a range of hypothetical causal relationships among residents' perceptions about ecosystem services/disservices provided by UGS, frequency of UGS visits, socioeconomic status (SES) and WTP for the conservation of five different types of UGS. We found that residents had an average WTP of 202.4 CNY or 30.6 USD per year cross UGS types, with the attached green space having the greatest WTP (223.0 CNY or 33.7 USD per year), followed by park (215.4 CNY or 32.6 USD year), square (201.7 CNY or 30.5 USD year), suburban ecological (190.1 CNY or 28.7 USD year) and protective (182.0 CNY or 27.5 USD year) green spaces. Perceptions of UGS's ecosystem services had a positive causal impact on WTP, while perceptions of ecosystem disservices would have a negative impact. The frequency of UGS visits was found to amplify WTP at a limited level. It could further heighten and diminish the perceptions of ecosystem services and disservices. Participants with higher SES typically had greater perceptions of UGS's ecosystem services and WTP. Finally, we found that the structure of the causal relationships on WTP varied between cities, highlighting the importance of considering the fine-level impacts of biophysical environment jointly. Our results could help urban planners to understand better the ways urban green space was perceived and anticipate the likely effects of changing spatial patterns of UGS on the benefits and nuisances experienced by the general public.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: UKCEH Fellows
ISSN: 0301-4797
Additional Keywords: urban green space, ecosystem services and disservices, willingness-to-pay, perceptions, frequency of visit, socioeconomic status
NORA Subject Terms: Ecology and Environment
Date made live: 21 Feb 2020 12:57 +0 (UTC)

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