Chicago Parks add 1.5% to the Value of Residential Properties


This week, CPF collaborated with Brendan Daley, the Director of Strategy and Sustainability at the Chicago Park District, to discuss CPD’s newest report, The Power of Parks: An Assessment of Chicago Parks’ Economic Impact. Read on to learn about how vital Chicago Parks are to our city’s economy.

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At the end of 2013, the Chicago Park District partnered with Civic Consulting Alliance, Global Economics Group, and Roland Berger Strategy Consultants to determine the impact of Chicago Park District-owned assets on the City of Chicago’s economy. Having hypothesized that parks do have a positive impact, the project aimed to help the Chicago Park District test this theory and quantify the effect, if any.

To determine the parks’ impact on the local economy, two main metrics were selected:

Relative impact of parks on property value. This represents the best indicator of value regarding the benefits for residents associated with a parks’ presence, and is a proxy for other qualitativeand subjective factors (e.g., quality of life). Higher property values of parcels in close proximity to parks can be regarded as the net present value of the benefit associated with living in such a location.

Revenues generated by parks’ special assets. These metrics capture the additional benefit of Chicago Park District assets to Chicago. Their economic significance was determined by aggregating various metrics, including event attendance, museum visits, and visitor spending. Assumptions were also made on the contribution of Chicago parks to the city’s ability to attract tourists.

The analysis of data on almost 600 parks shows that – with a conservative approach – they add at least $900 million (1.5% of total) to the value of residential properties located within 0.15 miles of a park (roughly one and a half blocks).

Residential properties within 2 blocks of a park - 43% of all residential properties in Chicago - experience on average 1.5 percent higher property values directly attribute to their proximity to a park.

Overall, the assessment indicates that parks generate significant benefits for Chicago’s residents and economy. Collectively, they represent a powerful portfolio of assets: each park category plays a distinctive role in providing different kinds of value for Chicago's residents: 

  • Revenue generation: The revenue generated by assets and events hosted in parks are significant contributors not only to the Park District's economic viability, but to the local economy through tourism
  • Community engagement: more than 540,000 patrons participated in Parks' programming activities in 2012
  • Tangible value for residents, whose property value is increased by their proximity to parks

To read the entire report, click here.


Jennie Scheerer