Estimating the demand for public open space: Evidence from North Carolina municipalities

Authors


  • The work presented here was funded by Renaissance Computing Institute at UNC Charlotte and National Science Foundation ULTRA-Ex (BCS-0949170). We thank Bayard Alcorn of the North Carolina Division of Parks and Recreation for providing the data on open space. Thanks also to Elizabeth Delmelle, Monica Dorning, Zhaoya Gong, Elizabeth Hayden, Douglas Shoemaker, Kunwar K. Singh, and Xiaojia Wang for data collection and analyses. We are grateful to Vicki Bott, J. Matthew Fannin, Andrew Krmenec, Douglas Shoemaker and two anonymous reviewers for their insightful comments and helpful suggestions. The usual disclaimer applies.

Abstract

This paper empirically identifies socio-economic, physical, and geographic factors of the demand for open space in the state of North Carolina in the United States. Estimated coefficients suggest that spatial dependency exists in open space demand and that open space is a normal good. The paper provides the first empirical investigation of how open space demand is affected by local weather conditions. It is found that the demand has a statistically significant substitution relationship with nice weather. We discuss the socio-economic rationale for the estimated demand models within the regional context of North Carolina and point to some relevant policy implications.

Resumen. Este artículo identifica empíricamente los factores socioeconómicos, físicos y geográficos de la demanda de espacios al aire libre en el estado de Carolina del Norte en los Estados Unidos. Los coeficientes estimados sugieren que existe una dependencia espacial en la demanda de espacios al aire libre y que los espacios al aire libre son un bien normal. El artículo ofrece la primera investigación empírica sobre como se ve afectada la demanda de espacios al aire libre por las condiciones meteorológicas locales. Se ha encontrado que la demanda tiene una relación de substitución estadísticamente significativa con una meteorología benigna. Discutimos el fundamento socioeconómico de los modelos de demanda estimados dentro del contexto regional de Carolina del Norte e indicamos varias implicaciones relevantes para la formulación de políticas.

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