What is a Tree Worth? Green-City Strategies and Housing Prices
Susan M. Wachter
University of Pennsylvania - Wharton School, Department of Real Estate
Grace Wong Bucchianeri
University of Pennsylvania - Real Estate Department
We investigate the correlation between curb-side tree plantings and housing price movements in Philadelphia from 1998 to 2003, comparing two programs, one by the Philadelphia Horticultural Society that requires block-group effort that focuses on lowincome neighbourhoods and the other by the Fairmount Park Commission that is individual-based without specific target areas. A 7 to 11 percent price differential is identified within 4000ft of the Fairmount tree plantings. We argue that this is largely driven by either social capital creation or a signaling mechanism, on the top of an intrinsic tree value (around 2 percent). Findings using the PHS tree program suggest that development of social capital or environmentally-conscious behavior might be a less important channel. Any positive changes brought by the PHS tree plantings were not detected with sufficient statistical power.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 19working papers series
Date posted: September 27, 2006
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