Property Values, Recreation Values, and Urban Greenways


  • Greg Lindsey
  • Joyce Man
  • Seth Payton
  • Kelly Dickson


Greenways, trails, property values, hedonic price, recreation benefits, travel cost method, urban planning


Planners propose multi-use urban greenways to enhance urban form, promote conservation of habitat and biodiversity, provide opportunities for fitness, recreation, and transportation, and promote economic development. This paper presents a taxonomy of the values of greenways and illustrates how two particular types of values can be measured using complementary techniques. Impacts of greenways on property values in Indianapolis, Indiana are measured with geographic information systems (GIS) and hedonic price modeling using residential real estate sales data from 1999. Recreation values are measured for a greenway trail in Indianapolis with the travel cost method using data from a 2000 survey of trail users and counts of trail traffic taken in 1996. We show that some but not all greenways have a positive, significant effect on property values and that the recreation benefits of a trail exceed costs. Limitations of the approaches are reviewed, and the importance of values not amenable to quantification is discussed. The paper concludes with discussion of the implications of our findings. Planners can use the findings to illustrate the benefits of greenways, to address concerns about negative impacts of greenway systems, and to inform and design research studies.





Regular Papers