Natural England Report: Green Infrastructure – Valuation Tools Assessment (NECR126)

Green Infrastructure – Valuation Tools Assessment (NECR126)
There are an increasing number of tools available that aim to value green infrastructure. Many of these focus on specific services provided by the green infrastructure and estimate the economic value of these services.
This report was commissioned to draw together a number of the most widely used tools and assess them against research standards for natural science and economics. The aim is to help people wanting to value green infrastructure choose the best tool for them. As well as descriptions and the assessment of the tools, links to further information and examples of the use of the tools are provided. The report also points to the key gaps in the tools available highlighting areas for further work.


Report: Canal & River Trust Impact Report 2012/13

The first CRT Impact Report demonstrates the difference the organisation has made, caring for its canals and rivers and inspiring people to connect with them, during the first nine months of the new organisation (July 2012 – March 2013).

Living Streets report – The pedestrian pound: the business case for better streets and places

The pedestrian pound: the business case for better streets and places
A new report from Living Streets makes a robust case that investing in good quality public realm can provide direct benefits to businesses and the local economy.
Living Streets commissioned research company Just Economics to bring together the evidence of the commercial and consumer benefits of good walking environments.
It reviews the academic literature and examines the relationship between investing in better streets and places and the impact on existing businesses, urban regeneration, and business and consumer perceptions.
To accompany the report, Living Streets has also put out its own summary report, outlining our key recommendations for putting these findings to work.

Common Cause report: The Art of Life: how arts and culture affect our values #heritagefutures

This report is the beginning of a dialogue about how arts and culture impact on our values, what that might look like in practice, and how we might foster new collaborations between artists, cultural institutions and the third sector to create new ideas for development.

Journal article: ‘We don’t enjoy nature like that’: Youth identity and lifestyle in the countryside. #heritagefutures

Katherine King, Andrew Church
‘We don’t enjoy nature like that’: Youth identity and lifestyle in the countryside
Journal of Rural Studies, Volume 31, July 2013, Pages 67–76
It is claimed that contact with nature and the countryside can benefit young people’s health and wellbeing. There are concerns, however, that not only do young people encounter significant barriers to accessing these resources as part of their leisure experiences, but also they generally have less direct experience of nature. Research into youth leisure activities and their associated cultural dimensions suggests performance and enactment are an integral feature of related youth lifestyles. This paper argues that young people’s engagement with nature and the countryside still remains only partly understood because past studies have not examined these interactions as part of a wider process of developing lifestyles and identities linked to youth leisure activities. Presenting the findings of primary qualitative research involving a group of young people who live in urban and rural areas and who make regular use of countryside space for mountain biking, this paper shows the ways in which young people express their relations to nature and the countryside. By providing a specific focus on young people’s countryside leisure experience within the framework of identity and lifestyle the paper offers a more holistic understanding of how young people interact with the countryside exploring both the distinctive elements of the spaces offered by the countryside to develop symbolic ownership over space and the way in which, through embodied experiences and knowledges, the nature associated with these spaces is given meaning by young people.

Journal article: Cultural heritage and the location choice of Dutch households in a residential sorting model. #heritagefutures

Mark van Duijn and Jan Rouwendal
Cultural heritage and the location choice of Dutch households in a residential sorting model
Journal of Economic Geography (2013) 13 (3): 473-500 first published online September 9, 2012 doi:10.1093/jeg/lbs028

Recent research has stressed the role of consumer amenities for urban development. In this article, we investigate the impact of cultural heritage on the attractiveness of cities by analyzing the location choice of households. We develop and estimate a residential sorting model that allows us to compute the marginal willingness to pay for cultural heritage as well as other urban amenities. Since the attractiveness of residential locations may be affected by amenities of other nearby locations as well, we extend the model to incorporate these effects, using spatial econometric techniques. Our model accounts for unobserved amenities, heterogeneity of preferences among households and spatial correlation between observed and unobserved amenities. The results confirm that cultural heritage has a substantial impact on the attractiveness of cities.

Working Paper: Protected areas: origins, criticisms and contemporary issues for outdoor recreation #heritagefutures

Working Paper no. 15 (2013) Protected areas: origins, criticisms and contemporary issues for outdoor recreation
Jenny Smith (20pp; ISBN 979-904839-65-1)
Birmingham City University – Centre for Environment & Society Research
This paper presents a wide-ranging literature review on the interplay between protected areas and outdoor recreation. Following a brief explanation of the origins of protected areas and the escalation of their designation around the globe, it highlights a range of criticisms relating to the process of protected area designation and how this has impacted upon their
overall effectiveness in conserving our most valuable habitats, species and landscapes. Whilst there is a particular focus on the British context, international examples are used to allow critical reflections on the global nature and status of protected areas as a means of conservation management in contemporary society. It is noted that whilst many authors offer valid, criticisms of protected area policy, few deny their importance as a means of protecting our most valuable habitats and landscapes. In contemporary society the growth in outdoor recreation, especially of ‘adventure activities’ such as mountain biking, has placed
additional pressure on designated areas and brought the management of such areas into question.