Urban parks are important green space environments in cities (Seto et al., 2017, Nilon et al., 2017). It is impossible to envision cities without a dedicated green space. They are the city’s lungs, just like the Amazon is the Earth’s lungs. Parks are green infrastructures, another form of capital, contributing to the quality of life of its residents by providing environmental, ecological, recreational, social, and psychological benefits (Tzoulas et al., 2007). Parks provide many ecological services, including air and climate regulation, habitat for genetic diversity, sports, recreation, tourism, culture, art and design, spiritual experience, and many other social benefits (Costanza et al. 2017).
Parks are local public goods providing considerable external benefits to the community (McConnell and Walls, 2005). Two properties characterize parks. They are non-rivalry, provided there is no congestion, and non-excludable (i.e., open access) to the community. Non-rival means someone’s enjoyment of the green space does not diminish other people’s enjoyment, while non-excludability means that it is impossible to exclude someone from enjoying the green space if they do not pay for its services. As a result, municipal governments provide, maintain, and enhance the green space of cities and towns financed through local taxes.
Even though parks are plentiful in Kamloops, urbanization will be intensifying (Vardoulakis and Kinney, 2019). According to the United Nations, 68% of the world’s population will live in an urban area by 2050, up from 55% in 2018 (Seto et al., 2012, Huang and Seto, 2019, U.N., DESA, 2018, 2019). Kamloops’s population is expected to increase in the near future and although Kamloops is surrounded by a beautiful natural environment and urban parks are in abundance, the population increase will add pressure on the outskirts of the city to potentially trade off natural environments for suburban development sprawl (Nechyba and Walsh, 2004). Thus city planners are to make cities “more inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable” as per the United Nations sustainable development goal 11 (UN DESA 2019). Kamloops is capable of achieving this sustainable development goal, and part of this goal is to protect and maintain its green space as urban development expands.
This book is about assessing numerous large and small city of Kamloops parks in terms of their value and ecosystem services they provide but in monetary terms. Assigning a monetary value does not mean commodification but indicates scarcity and the importance of such an asset (Costanza et al., 2017, Bockarjova et al., 2020). Allows the city to measure this form of capital as it does for built capital. In fact, the value of the parks can easily exceed the value of built capital which has been recently estimated at $24 billion (KTW, 2022).
For example, the Ecosystem Services Valuation Database (ESVD) has been developed by the Foundation of Sustainable Development (2021) to provide values from numerous studies about the monetary benefits of biodiversity and ecosystems. The goal is to support nature conservation, ecosystem restoration, and sustainable land management. Currently, the database contains over 6,700 value records from about 20% of 5,000 studies and growing. The valuations are expressed in 2020 US$ per ha per year across all biomes including urban parks and forests, ecosystem services, and from various geographic regions. The following table reports values for Urban Parks and Forests from the Global Urban Green and Blue Infrastructure biome. The average value of ecosystem services provided by urban parks and forests is estimated at approximately USD 101,000 per ha per year or CND 130,000 across 147 values. Opportunities for recreation and tourism, aesthetic information, and air quality regulations are currently the most significant contributors to ecosystem services.
Table 1: Urban Parks and Forests from ESVD
|Ecosystem Services||Type||Average||Median||Values||Standard Error||95% Lower||95% Upper|
|Air quality regulation||Regulation||13,312||9,500||105||2,366||10,946||15,678|
|Regulation of water flows||Regulation||620||519||4||229||391||850|
|Existence, bequest values||Culture||393||408||7||162||232||555|
|Opportunities for recreation and tourism||Culture||60,708||38,063||10||32,885||27,824||93,593|
In the book, a graduate student wrote a chapter during the Winter 2022 semester. The chapter is about the park a student selected at the beginning of the semester for the course project. Each chapter contains an introduction, and methods section, followed by the results and ending with a discussion with concluding remarks.
Parks are in the city’s center, like Riverside Park in downtown Kamloops (Chapter 5 by Umma Shemo), on an island like McArthur park (Chapter 3 by Saaransh Bhardwaj). Others are on the outskirts of the city like Albert McGowan Park (Chapter 1 by Arwinddeep Kaur), Kenna Cartwright Nature Park (Chapter 2 by Jake Truscott and Peter Tsigaris), Peterson Creek Nature Park (Chapter 7 by Leila Abubakar), Ross Hill Park (Chapter 8 by David Waithe), and Valleyview Nature Park (Chapter 10 by Sheikh Farzin Rahman). Neighborhood parks are also assessed like Westsyde Centennial Park (Chapter 9 by Ayoola Ajani), McDonald Park (Chapter 4 by Rashad Taghiyev), and Prince Charles Park (Chapter 6 by Adaku Ibekwe). Figure 1 below shows the city and most of these parks, including the Lac Du Bois Provincial Park on the city’s northwest outskirts. Kenna Cartwright Nature Park is the second-largest park on the southwest outskirts of the city, followed by Peterson Creek Nature Park in the heart of Kamloops and Valleyview Nature Park in the southeast of Kamloops.
The importance of finding the value of ecosystem services of urban parks has also been highlighted recently by Professor John Janmaat from the University of British Columbia who place a $36-38 million per year valuation on ecosystem services of the iconic 367 hectares Knox Mountain Park in Kelowna. Professor Janmaat also assessed the expansion of Sutherland Waterfront Park by 5 hectares from the closure of the Tolko mill in the north end of Kelowna. Using a similar methodology to Truscott and Tsigaris (2022) he found the ecosystem service benefits from the conversion of the closure of the mill to an expanded waterfront park ranging from $300K and $2 million per year (Janmaat, 2022).
Bockarjova, M., Botzen, W. J., & Koetse, M. J. (2020). Economic valuation of green and blue nature in cities: A meta-analysis. Ecological Economics, 169, 106480. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecolecon.2019.106480
Costanza, R., De Groot, R., Braat, L., Kubiszewski, I., Fioramonti, L., Sutton, P., … & Grasso, M. (2017). Twenty years of ecosystem services: how far have we come and how far do we still need to go?. Ecosystem Services, 28, 1-16. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecoser.2017.09.008
Huang, K., Li, X., Liu, X., & Seto, K. C. (2019). Projecting global urban land expansion and heat island intensification through 2050. Environmental Research Letters, 14(11), 114037.
Kamloops This Week (KTW) (2022). BC Assessment pegs total property value in Kamloops at $24 billion. Retrieved from: https://www.kamloopsthisweek.com/local-news/bc-assessment-pegs-total-property-value-in-kamloops-at-24-billion-5170528. Access on April 16, 2022.
Janmaat, J, (April 9 2022), The UBC Okanagan Watershed, Perspectives on Water and Environmental Issues in the Okanagan, “Local Issues: Expanding Sutherland Waterfront Park (Part I)?” Accessed on May 18th, 2022 from: https://blogs.ubc.ca/ubcowatershed/2022/04/09/dollars-from-parks/
McConnell, V., & Walls, M. A. (2005). The value of open space: Evidence from studies of nonmarket benefits (pp. 1-78). Washington, DC: Resources for the Future.
Nechyba, Thomas, J., and Randall P. Walsh. 2004. “Urban Sprawl.” Journal of Economic Perspectives, 18 (4): 177-200. https://doi.org/10.1257/0895330042632681
Nilon, C.H., M.F.J.Aronson, S.S.Cilliers, C.Dobbs, L.J.Frazee, M.A.Goddard, K.M.O’Neill, et al. 2017. Planning for the future of urban biodiversity: A global review of city-scale initiatives. BioScience, 67:332–342. https://doi.org/10.1093/biosci/bix012
Seto, K. C., Golden, J. S., Alberti, M., & Turner, B. L. (2017). Sustainability in an urbanizing planet. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 114, 8935–8938. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1606037114
Seto, KC, Guneralp B& Hutyra LR. (2012) Global forecasts of urban expansion to 2030 and direct impacts on biodiversity and carbon pools. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 109, 16 083–16 088. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1211658109.
Tzoulas, K., Korpela, K., Venn, S., Yli‐Pelkonen, V., Kaźmierczak, A., Niemela, J., & James, P. (2007). Promoting ecosystem and human health in urban areas using Green Infrastructure: A literature review. Landscape and Urban Planning, 81(3), 167–178. https://doi.org/10.1016/J.LANDURBPLAN.2007.02
United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division (2019). World Urbanization Prospects: The 2018 Revision (ST/ESA/SER.A/420). New York: United Nations.
Vardoulakis, S., & Kinney, P. (2019). Grand challenges in sustainable cities and health. Frontiers in Sustainable Cities, 1, 7. https://doi.org/10.3389/frsc.2019.00007