A study has found city dwellers are willing to pay up to £29.91 per month, or around £360 per year, for greener urban spaces. People in Manchester and Sheffield agreed a council tax supplement could help pay for better parks and more trees.
A team from the University of Sheffield has showed images of how their local areas could be developed in the future and asked people to state how much more they would be willing to pay for each scenario.
On Whitworth Street in Manchester, members of the public pay an average of £2.20 per month for street cleaning and £1.50 per month to maintain green spaces through council tax. The survey found that people were willing to pay an extra £1.46 per month to maintain the street in its current state, an extra £1.61 per month if small ornamental trees were planted and up to £2.33 extra per month for large forest trees and grass landscaping.
Meanwhile, in Sheffield city centre near Blonk Street, people were willing to pay £4.27 more per month to maintain the new footbridge, riverside walkway and flood defence works that have recently been completed. If additional landscaping was undertaken in the area they would pay £8 more per month. However, they said that they would pay an extra £10.81 per month if the natural vegetation of the riverside was allowed to re-establish itself.
Professor John Henneberry from the University's Department of Town and Regional Planning said: "The results of this research will be used to help to improve the design of green infrastructure investments so that they more closely meet the preferences of the local communities that use them."