How much is an urban stream worth? Using land senses and economic assessment of an urban stream restoration

Yehonatan Yaacovi, Avital Gasith, Nir Becker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Urban rivers contribute to our social well-being. However, they are some times overlooked and not appreciated by decision makers, who wrongly consider them as an economic burden. This lack of knowledge has often led rivers to be degraded, or dried. Here we examine the case of the Ein-Zahav stream within the city of Kiryat-Shmona in northern Israel. From the 1950’s the stream underwent transformation from a perennial to an intermittent stream, which caused it to be neglected and then, years later, following pressure by city residents, was restored again to its current perennial state by 2019. To evaluate the importance of the Ein-Zahav stream we conducted a socio-economic assessment of the cultural services of the stream which flows through an urban park, The Golden Park. This assessment was carried out by the Contingent Valuation Method (CVM). The data was based on a face-to-face survey with a representative sample of city residents and visitors at the stream. The cultural services were assessedby asking interviewees about their willingness to pay to prevent a loss of these services. Rrespondents were also asked specifically about three components of the restoration process: water quality, water flow and maintenance of the riverbanks. The results show an annual benefit from the flowing stream, equal to 1.16 million ILS (0.35 million USD). This translates to about 0.19% of the mean income per household in the town. Our findings indicate a substantial value of the river and demonstrate the importance of quantifying non-market benefits in an urban ecosystem system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)602-611
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Sustainable Development and World Ecology
Volume28
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - 2021

Keywords

  • Contingent valuation
  • Israel
  • Urban
  • ecosystem services
  • landsenses ecology
  • urban park

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