Developing an Amenity Value Calculator for Urban Forest Landscapes

By Seong-Hoon Cho, Taeyoung Kim,Roland K. Roberts,Chad Hellwinckel,Seung Gyu Kim, and Brad Wilson

Knoxville, TN (January 2014) – New research develops a framework that can be used by landscape and urban planners to implement an “amenity value calculator” for urban forest landscapes across a metropolitan county.

By balancing the pros and cons of using typical hedonic frameworks versus urban forest inventory and management software systems, researchers:

(1) construct a data-driven approach to estimate the total amenity value associated with access to, views of, and existence of a particular forest landscape from among all available forest sites in a community and (2) develop a framework for an amenity value calculator for numerous community forest landscapes within a metropolitan county, using the amenity values generated from objective (1), that can be accessed and understood by anyone who is interested in the benefits provided by nearby community forests.

Research suggests that (i) residential household’s amenity value per acre of forest landscape decreases asymptotically towards zero as the driving time from a residential house increases, (ii) an amenity value calculator can be developed to sum the amenity values across all detached single-family houses within a range of driving times from any selected forest landscape, and (iii) a user-friendly, web-based application, that allows users to view the estimated amenity values of forest landscapes that interest them, can be created to better inform the public about the values of forest landscapes of interest to them.

Source: “Developing an amenity value calculator for urban forest landscapes,” Computers, Environment and Urban Systems