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Urban Trees Conference Highlights Economic Value of Trees

The forthcoming Trees, People and the Built Environment II (TPBE II) conference, 2-3 April, University of Birmingham, is set to highlight the benefits of trees in an urban environment, including the advantages that they can bring to the economy.

A pre-conference article delivered by Dr Kathleen Wolf, Research Social Scientist, University of Washington, highlights the benefits that city trees can bring to a population – including improved private property values and shoppers responses in business districts. She said:

“Studies have found that nearby trees, particularly large ones, can boost the price of a home from 2% to 15%. Local governments capture those price effects in sales or property taxes across neighbourhoods, providing the revenue needed to manage trees so they remain healthy and vital for decades.

“Many merchants in central business districts strive to provide a favourable shopping experience for their visitors. A well-cared-for tree canopy extends that customer service from the front door to the curb, and with good return for the effort. In multiple studies having a mature urban forest within business districts and commercial areas promotes positive shopper perceptions and behaviour, providing bottom-line benefits. Consumers claim that they will travel greater distances and for longer amounts of time to visit a forested district, thus expanding the catchment area for visitors. Once in the district people claim that they are willing-to-pay from 9% to 12% more for equivalent goods and services in shopping districts that have a mature, high quality tree canopy.”

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Internationally-renowned Speakers at TPBE II

Dr Kathleen Wolf is an internationally-renowned researcher in the social sciences, urban forestry and urban greening. With a background in Landscape Architecture (PH.D), her work currently focuses on human interaction with the urban landscape. She will present her paper, Invest from the Ground Up! Economics of trees and retail environments, at the TPBE II conference in April.

Dr Wolf’s presentation will form part of a programme of international experts in urban forestry, including Keynote Speakers Sir Terry Farrell CBE, one of the UK’s leading architects and planners, Prof Timothy Beatley, Professor of Sustainable Communities, University of Virginia, and Prof Herbert Girardet, co-founder of the World Future Council.

One and two-day passes are now on sale at the conference web page.

TPBEII Conference Partners are: The Arboricultural Association, Ancient Tree Forum, Bartlett Tree Research Laboratories, Forest Research, Forestry Commission, Institute of Chartered Foresters, Institution of Civil Engineers, International Society of Arboriculture (UK & I Chapter), Landscape Institute, London Tree Officers Association, Municipal Tree Officers Association, Myerscough College, National Association of Tree Officers, Natural England, Royal Institute of British Architects, Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, Trees and Design Action Group, University of Birmingham, University of Manchester, Utility Arboriculture Group.

Consultative supporters: English Heritage, Green Infrastructure Partnership, Royal Town Planning Institute.

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