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Nordic Urban Nature Recreation

How to Practically Integrate Economic Values in Decision-making

image of Nordic Urban Nature Recreation

The Nordic countries continue to experience growth of urban areas, which provides benefits like economic growth, but also imposes economic costs in terms of reduced ecosystem services. This report focuses on urban nature recreation and highlights economic methods and data that can help capture the associated nonmarket welfare benefits. The study stresses the need to collect user data to better understand visitation patterns, which can be combined with valuation methods to provide evidence of economic benefits associated with e.g., hiking, cycling, skiing, paddling and other recreation activities. Once these benefits are visible, decision-makers will have a better basis to balance economic growth with the environmental costs it imposes on urban ecosystem services.

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Urban nature recreation

Urban nature recreation contributes significantly to human well-being in crowded cities. Outdoor activities like hiking, biking, team sports and other leisure are dependent on the provision of important and underlying urban ecosystem services, which provide economic benefits. The space required for these services is at a premium in rapidly growing urban areas, which means they can be costly to provide. Further, since these values are not always “visible”, they tend to be neglected in the decision-making process. To prevent this, urban planners need more information about these economic benefits and economic tools and approaches to help evaluate and communicate the values at stake.

English

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