Talking Open Space

On May 28, I presented to the quarterly meeting of a land conservationPOS  collaborative that has brought together groups including the Metropolitan Council, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, the McKnight Foundation, Trust for Public Land, and 1000 Friends of Minnesota. Embrace Open Space has released an analysis of five years of Hennepin County housing sale data, which illustrates the influence of nearby open space on home values. The analysis has identified that a typical Hennepin County home located near open space is roughly $15,000 more valuable than a comparable property located elsewhere. The study follows a related analysis of Washington County sale data, released in 2007, which reached similar findings.

As part of the program, I will present context for the study, describing the range of economic, fiscal, and ecological benefits that flow from parks and other conserved lands, in cities, suburbs and in rural places. I also expect to discuss how open space produces benefits that cross sectors – for example, open space has been shown to produce improvements to health and serve as transportation infrastructure (as with greenways), as well as meeting recreation needs. 

View the Donjek five-page summary here.

Photo: Post Office Square in Boston; courtesy of Flickr.