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Monetary Valuation of Urban Forest Attributes in Highly Developed Urban Environments: An Experimental Study Using a Conjoint Choice Model

Sung-Kwon Hong (), Ju-Mi Kim (), Hyun-Kil Jo () and Sang-Woo Lee ()
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Sung-Kwon Hong: Department of Forestry and Landscape Architecture, Konkuk University, Gwangjin-gu, Seoul 05029, Korea
Ju-Mi Kim: Graduate Program, Department of Environmental Science, Konkuk University, Gwangjin-gu, Seoul 05029, Korea
Hyun-Kil Jo: Department of Ecological Landscape Architecture Design, Kangwon National University, Chuncheon 24341, Korea
Sang-Woo Lee: Department of Forestry and Landscape Architecture, Konkuk University, Gwangjin-gu, Seoul 05029, Korea

Sustainability, 2018, vol. 10, issue 7, 1-22

Abstract: It is important to integrate user preferences and demands into the design, planning, and management of urban forests. This is particularly important in highly urbanized areas where land is extremely limited. Based on a survey with 600 participants selected by quota sampling in Seoul, Korea, we developed a conjoint choice model for determining the preferences of urban dwellers on urban forest attributes, the levels of attributes, and the preferences for particular attributes. Then, the preferences were transformed into monetary values. The results indicated that urban dwellers preferred broadleaved forests over coniferous forests, soil-type pavement materials over porous elastic pavement materials on trails, and relatively flat trails over trails with steep slopes. The model indicated that participants were willing to pay an additional 11.42 USD to change coniferous forest to broadleaved forest, 15.09 USD to alter porous elastic pavement materials on trails to soil-type pavement materials on trails, and 23.8 USD to modify steeply sloping trails to relatively flat trails. As previously reported, considerable distance decay effects have been observed in the user preferences for urban forests. We also found a significant difference in the amount of the mean marginal willingness to pay among sociodemographic subgroups. In particular, there were significant positive responses from the male group to changes in urban forest attributes and their levels in terms of their willingness to pay additional funds. By contrast, the elderly group had the opposite response. In this study, we were not able to integrate locality and spatial variation in user preferences for urban forests derived from locational characteristics. In future studies, the role of limiting factors in user preferences for urban forests and their attributes should be considered.

Keywords: urban forest; willingness to pay; forest attributes; attribute level; urban park; conjoint choice model (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Q Q0 Q2 Q3 Q5 Q56 O13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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