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Willingness to Pay for Revegetating the City of Subiaco’s Railway Reserve. A Choice Experiment to Determine Public Preferences

Gunther de Vos, Marit Kragt and Ram Pandit

No 244151, Working Papers from University of Western Australia, School of Agricultural and Resource Economics

Abstract: Residents of the City of Subiaco (Western Australia) demonstrate a willingness to pay for revegetating the Railway Reserve. The Railway Reserve is the area of land immediately along both sides of the Fremantle Railway Line. The City of Subiaco aims to revegetate all available land in the Reserve with native plants to create a green link between Kings Park, Bold Park and other parks in the area. This study used a choice experiment to determine public preferences and to estimate willingness to pay for different ways of managing the Railway Reserve. Conditional logit model results show that residents prefer to have a larger proportion of the area revegetated, to add shrubs and/or trees to the ground-covering plants, and to add management for wildlife habitat such as nest boxes for birds and bats. No significant preference was found for the inclusion of interpretative signs. The average respondent was willing to pay 0.27 Australian dollars per household per year for every extra percent of the Reserve to be revegetated. To add management for wildlife habitat, the average respondent was willing to pay 14.15 Australian dollars per household per year. A higher willingness to pay for a larger revegetated proportion and for the wildlife management was found among females and among frequent users of the walking and bicycle path along the railway line. Residents who live further away from the railway line and residents who feel less safe as a result of dense urban vegetation demonstrated a lower willingness to pay per percentage of area revegetated. Results from the survey also indicate that respondents valued urban greenery more for the habitat it provides for wildlife than for the recreational opportunities or as a buffer against noise. The results from the choice experiment reinforce the current management strategies by the City of Subiaco. The current management strategy represents a total willingness to pay among residents of 480,750 Australian dollars per year. This study could be replicated in other local council areas along the Fremantle Railway Line to determine the values that the Railway Reserve provides to residents of other areas in Perth.

Keywords: Environmental; Economics; and; Policy (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 62
Date: 2016-08-25
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-dcm and nep-env
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DOI: 10.22004/ag.econ.244151

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