162 Multi-Benefit Resources


Nature-based Solutions Evidence Platform

Author: University of Oxford (2019)
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The Nature-based Solutions Evidence Platform provides visualization and sorting tools for resources and data related to benefits from nature-based solutions. The data can be filtered by a variety of categories, mapped by country, or charted to show results.

Triple Bottom Line Guidelines

Author: Melbourne Water (2007)
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The Triple Bottom Line Guidelines from Melbourne Water outlines a process of including triple bottom line analysis into new water management projects. This guide provides a simple framework to assess projects from identifying needs to stakeholder engagement. Case studies showing applications of triple bottom line assessment are also included.

Estimating the costs and health benefits of water and sanitation improvements at global level

Author: Haller et al., (2007)
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Estimating the costs and health benefits of water and sanitation improvements at global level compares the cost of improving water supply and sanitation to the benefit of averting disease burden. The authors find improving sanitation has positive benefits up to $13,000 per disease year prevented, and the most cost effective intervention is household water treatment.

A Cost-Effectiveness Analysis of Seminatural Wetlands and Activated Sludge Wastewater-Treatment Systems

Author: Mannino et al., (2008)
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A Cost-Effectiveness Analysis of Seminatural Wetlands and Activated Sludge Wastewater-Treatment Systems compares cost efficiency of wastewater treatment capacity for three constructed wetlands and three wastewater treatment plants. Considering only the wastewater treatment, and no other costs and benefits, the authors find constructed treatment wetlands are competitive with traditional wastewater treatment facilities.

Assessing The Direct Effects of Streamflow on Recreation: A Literature Review

Author: Brown et al., US Forest Service (1991)
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Assessing The Direct Effects of Streamflow on Recreation: A Literature Review examines the relationship between stream flows and recreation quality. Most papers found a nonlinear relationship between increases in stream flows and recreation quality. Recreation quality increases with streamflows until a site specific point, and then levels out. This indicates there could be an optimum stream flow in water systems for recreation quality.

Portland’s Green Infrastructure: Quantifying the Health, Energy, and Community Livability Benefits

Author: City of Portland Bureau of Environmental Services (2010)
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Portland’s Green Infrastructure: Quantifying the Health, Energy, and Community Livability Benefits quantifies the benefits of green infrastructure (GI) initiatives. Using available research and data, the city quantified benefits in energy and described benefits to community livability and health. This report breaks down the benefits by different GI types to show how projects impact each benefit category.

Environmental Valuation Reference Inventory

Author: Canadian Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs (2019)
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The Environmental Valuation Reference Inventory compiles over 5,000 studies of economic valuations of environmental health and services. It allows you to filter for type of document, area of study, environmental assets, economic measures, and other categories to find valuations of specific use to projects. To access the resource, you have to create a free account to log in.

Green Infrastructure Evaluation Framework

Author: National Recreation and Park Association (2019)
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The Green Infrastructure Evaluation Framework allows for people planning green infrastructure projects to identify and systematically calculate project benefits. Step one of the framework has a tool to identify all the different benefits that could be expected. Step two lays out how to collect and manage data to evaluate green infrastructure. Step 3 builds a structure on how to use the data, once collected, for communication inside and outside of the organization.

Green Infrastructure Co-Benefits Valuation Tool

Author: Kasey Armstrong, Green Infrastructure Leadership Exchange (2019)
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The Green Infrastructure Co-Benefits Valuation Tool is an Excel based economic valuation model. It calculates the net present value (NPV) for different green infrastructure investments. The tool is designed to introduce the potential benefits of a project, so environmental managers can get estimates before performing an exhaustive economic valuation.

Renaturing cities using a regionally-focused biodiversity-led multifunctional benefits approach to urban green infrastructure

Author: Connop et al., Sustainability Research Institute (2016)
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This article, “Renaturing cities using a regionally-focused biodiversity-led multifunctional benefits approach to urban green infrastructure,” considers the biodiversity outcomes of case studies in three locations in Europe. The authors discuss the “multifunctional” design in these three case studies and conclude it is effective at improving biodiversity in urban settings.

A Meta-Analysis of Hedonic Studies to Assess the Property Value Effects of Low Impact Development

Author: Mazzota et al., Atlantic Ecology Division, US EPA (2014)
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A Meta-Analysis of Hedonic Studies to Assess the Property Value Effects of Low Impact Development analyzed 35 different low impact development valuation studies across the United States. Distance and characteristics of the low impact development affect the hedonic valuation. The most robust determinants of willingness to pay are from locally available low impact developments.

The Effect of Low-Impact-Development on Property Values

Author: Ward et al., ECONorthwest (2008)
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The Effect of Low-Impact-Development on Property Values examines the added value to houses in a zip code in Seattle, WA with low impact development (LID). Homes with LID sold for 3-5% more than other homes with the same amenities. This indicates people value the aesthetic, economic, and natural benefits of LID on properties.

Quantifying the Potential Benefits of Land Conservation on Water Supply to Optimize Return on Investments

Author: Eddy et al., The Water Research Foundation (2019)
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Quantifying the Potential Benefits of Land Conservation on Water Supply to Optimize Return on Investments uses economic valuation to determine specific spatial areas for conservation and development in the Catawba-Wateree Watershed. Using spatial models, potential conserved areas that would create the largest benefits were identified based on their reduction in sediment load. Other valuations such as air quality improvements from forest management are also considered.

Economic valuation of river restoration: An analysis of the valuation literature and its uses in decision making

Author: Bergstrom & Loomis, The University of Georgia, Athens (2016)
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Economic valuation of river restoration: An analysis of the valuation literature and its uses in decision-making compares valuations of 38 river restoration projects. The majority of valuations used contingent valuation methods and focused on fish populations. Other valuations used revealed preference or stated preference and valued water quality, recreation, or other benefits.

Economic-Engineering Method for Assessing Trade-Offs between Instream and Offstream Uses

Author: Génova et al., (2019)
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Economic-Engineering Method for Assessing Trade-Offs between Instream and Offstream Uses creates a method for comparing values of instream and offstream uses of water. Using the example of a river in Chile, the authors compare the valuation of more energy generation with providing more water for the river to support recreation. The method found the benefits depended heavily on drought and energy prices.

Recreation Benefits of Instream Flow: Application to Montana’s Big Hole and Bitterroot Rivers

Author: Duffield et al., US Forest Service (1998)
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Recreation Benefits of Instream Flow: Application to Montana’s Big Hole and Bitterroot Rivers uses economic valuation to calculate recreational and downstream energy production benefits. The authors develop an instream valuation framework and apply it to a Montana river case study.

i-Tree

Author: USDA Forest Service, Davey Tree Expert Company, Arborday Foundation, Society of Municipal Arborists, International Society of Arboriculture, Casey Trees, and SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (2019)
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The i-Tree portal allows environmental managers to quantify benefits of urban and rural forestry. The website provides tools from the USDA Forest Service based on scientific studies to create tangible ecosystem services. These tools allow for the calculation of benefits from the parcel to state level.

Bringing Water and Land Use Together

Author: Local Government Commission (2019)
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Bringing Water and Land Use Together discusses Integrated Regional Water Management. This strategy is similar to the multi-benefit framework and integrates multiple groups of stakeholders to find mutually beneficial solutions to water management issues. The report highlights case studies throughout California that have adopted different integrated management approaches. It provides lists of recommendations for different stakeholders attempting to engage in integrated management.

A Framework for Estimating the Costs and Benefits of Dam Removal

Author: Whitelaw & Macmullen, ECONorthwest (2002)
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A Framework for Estimating the Costs and Benefits of Dam Removal examines the case study of removing dams from the Snake River. The authors use this analysis to provide a list of recommendations for performing a cost benefit analysis on dam removal. They emphasize relying on simplistic endangered species vs endangered jobs can distort calculations and miss other important areas of economic growth.

The Economic Value of Riparian Buffers

Author: Young, American Rivers (2016)
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The Economic Value of Riparian Buffers provides analyses of current valuation of riparian buffers. The report discusses valuation from impact on residential property values and community value with a multiple benefit perspective. Benefits to community, air quality, flooding, habitat, and water quality are considered and further valuation research is suggested to better include those values.

Recreation Use Values Database

Author: Oregon State University (2016)
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The Recreation Use Values Database catalogs studies that place valuations on recreational activities and the species related to these activities. The database is a downloadable Excel spreadsheet that allows for specific recreational uses and species to be analyzed.

An Analysis of the Demand for and Value of Outdoor Recreation in the United States

Author: Bergstrom & Cordell, USDA Forest Service (1991)
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An Analysis of the Demand for and Value of Outdoor Recreation in the United States examines the valuation for 37 different recreational activities across the US in 1991. Travel cost method determined the total value for recreation in the United States was $122 billion annually at the time of study. Value of individual recreation activities was also calculated.

EnviroAtlas

Author: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (N/A)
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EnviroAtlas is an online mapping and analysis tool by the U.S. EPA that allows users to evaluate the potential impact of proposed infrastructure and policy decisions on human health, the economy, and the environment. Data and other resources are freely available for download.

Rapid Benefit Indicators (RBI) Approach

Author: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (N/A)
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The Rapid Benefit Indicators (RBI) approach allows users to quickly estimate and quantify non-monetary benefits to people around an ecological restoration site. It includes several tools to help users develop and summarize indicators as well as a spatial tool for geographic analysis of benefits.

Identifying linkages between urban green infrastructure and ecosystem services using an expert opinion methodology

Author: Elliott et al., Columbia University (2019)
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Identifying linkages between urban green infrastructure and ecosystem services using an expert opinion methodology compares benefits in urban distributed stormwater infrastructure. This is commonly known as green infrastructure (GI), provides a wide variety of benefits. This study offers both a methodology for evaluating the multiple benefits of GI as well as a decision-support tool developed through interviews with 46 academic experts that helps to rank different GI strategies based on their known ability to deliver a variety of co-benefits.

Lower Snake River Dams: Economic Tradeoffs of Removal

Author: EconNorthwest (2019)
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The report, Lower Snake River Dams: Economic Tradeoffs of Removal, analyzes the costs and benefits of removing four dams along the lower Snake River in Washington State. The analysis applies economic values to the following benefits and tradeoffs: changes related to hydropower electric grid services, irrigation water supply, transportation along on the river corridor, recreation, and non-use values such as a restored natural river system and reduced extinction risk of wild salmon.

Nature-Based Solutions Evidence Tool

Author: University of Oxford (2019)
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The Nature-Based Solutions Evidence Tool is primarily an online catalog of peer-reviewed research that provides evidence of the impacts of nature-based solutions (NbS) on a wide variety of benefit categories. The tool allows the user to filter results in a variety of ways, including by intervention type, habitat type, climate change impact, effect of Nbs on ecosystem service, geography, and more. Results are displayed in a variety of formats, helping the user to understand the landscape of quantitative and economic research related to a variety of NbSs.

The Napa River Basin, California

Author: Naturally Resilient Communities (2016)
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The Napa River Basin, California provides a short overview of the multi-benefit approach taken by the Napa River communities to mitigate flood risk. The chosen approach deliberately sought not only to reduce the risk and impact of flooding from the Napa River, but also to preserve and restore habitat, reconnect the floodplain, and improve community livability.

Economics for the Environment Project Page

Author: Economics for the Environment (2019)
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The Economics for the Environment Project Page provides summaries of several case studies and economic valuations for natural resources in the United Kingdom. Projects include analysis of natural flood management, economic valuation of urban natural capital, and chemical usage in watersheds.

The City Water Resilience Approach

Author: Fletcher et al., Arup (2019)
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The City Water Resilience Approach considers how cities can create resilient water management plans in the face of changing city populations and climate. The report goes through a multistep approach and addresses potential issues between different stakeholders as well as other barriers. It focuses on providing the increasing urban population with safe, resilient water resources and protection from water related disasters.

Drinking Water and Wastewater Utility Customer Assistance Programs

Author: EPA (2016)
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Drinking Water and Wastewater Utility Customer Assistance Programs (CAPs) is a synopsis of utilities across the nation performing customer assistance programs. Bill discount, flexible terms, and temporary assistance are common programs. The report details specific examples of each of these CAPs and examines issues with the scope and targeting of CAPs.

Towards a New Paradigm of Urban Water Infrastructure: Identifying Goals and Strategies to Support Multi-Benefit Municipal Wastewater Treatment

Author: Harris-Lovett, Lienert, & Sedlak, University of California, Berkeley (2018)
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Towards a New Paradigm of Urban Water Infrastructure: Identifying Goals and Strategies to Support Multi-Benefit Municipal Wastewater Treatment examines the decision making barriers to adopting multibenefit solutions. Transitioning to a new paradigm of water management that supports and advances projects with multiple benefits will require new approaches, tools, and systems. This article attempts to identify the obstacles for these new requirements through a study from the San Francisco Bay Area.

A mixed-methods approach to strategic planning for multi-benefit regional water infrastructure

Author: Harris-Lovett, Lienert, & Sedlak, University of California, Berkeley (2019)
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A mixed-methods approach to strategic planning for multi-benefit regional water infrastructure presents a mix-methods approach for strategic planning to achieve multi-benefit outcomes. This approach can be used with stakeholders to identify agreements and to clarify technical and future uncertainties. The research was conducted using a case study in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Economic Benefits: Metics and Methods for Landscape Performance Assessment

Author: Wang et al., Utah State University (2016)
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The Economic Benefits: Metrics and Methods for Landscape Performance Assessment presents a method and standard metrics for assessing the economic benefits of landscapes. This method and the associated metrics can be used to increase the scientific rigor of landscape architecture and to help achieve high(er) levels of sustainability in the built environment. Three test cases are used to demonstrate the utility of the method.

Landscape Performance Series

Author: Landscape Architecture Foundation (N/A)
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The Landscape Performance Series is a compilation of case studies, fact sheets, and a Benefits Toolkit, to support sustainable landscape design. It is available for designers, agencies, and advocates to help evaluate performance, show value, and make the case for landscapes.

Water Funds Toolbox

Author: The Nature Conservancy (N/A)
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The Water Fund Toolbox provides a wide variety of resources, case studies, tools, etc. for groups seeking to create or advance the work of a Water Fund. A Water Fund is an organization that designs and enhances financial and governance mechanisms which unite public, private, and civil society stakeholders around a common goal to contribute to water security through nature-based solutions and sustainable water management.

Green Infrastructure Co-Benefits Valuation Tool

Author: Armstrong, Earth Economics, GI Exchange (2019)
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The Green Infrastructure Co-benefits Valuation Tool is intended to provide a framework, methods, and values to support rapid screening-level analysis of the costs and benefits associated with a range of GI investments. The tool itself is based in Microsoft Excel and comes with a users guide and fact sheet.

Urban green space, public health, and environmental justice: The challenge of making cities ‘just green enough’

Author: Wolch et al., UC Berkeley (2014)
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Urban green space, public health, and environmental justice: The challenge of making cities ‘just green enough’ is a review paper evaluating the global relationship between environmental improvements and inequity. The article concludes green space development’s impact on disenfranchised groups hinges on the goals of the development. Greening that is designed to increase the value of the neighborhood can be problematic, but greening that is “just enough” can accomplish significant health improvements without displacing people.

The Untapped Potential of California’s Water Supply: Efficiency, Reuse, and Stormwater – Issue Brief

Author: Gleick et al., Pacific Institute, NRDC (2014)
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Increased pressures on California’s water supply, including from population growth and intense periods of drought exacerbated by climate change, are leading to the overuse of surface water and groundwater. But with existing technology and conservation methods, the state can take vital steps to improve its resilience to drought and plan for a more sustainable water future. This issue brief, produced in collaboration with the Natural Resources Defense Council, is a statewide analysis of the potential for improved efficiency in agricultural and urban water use, water reuse and recycling, and increased capturing of local rainwater.

Wiped Out by the ‘Greenwave’: Environmental Gentrification and the Paradoxical Politics of Urban Sustainability

Author: Checker, Queens College CUNY (2011)
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Wiped Out by the ‘Greenwave’: Environmental Gentrification and the Paradoxical Politics of Urban Sustainability examines how profit driven environmental improvements could exacerbate inequities through ethnography in Harlem, New York. Environmental gentrification can be an issue when pursuing green infrastructure (GI) projects. The author suggests making any changes in land use sensitive to cultural activities and historical context.

Inclusive Urban Ecological Restoration in Toronto, Canada

Author: Newman, Center for Resource Economics (2011)
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Inclusive Urban Ecological Restoration in Toronto, Canada explores the ways improving diversity in park management could benefit Toronto communities. Involving more racial groups in projects has many unrecognized benefits. For example, it can help undo racial stereotypes that parks and natural spaces are only for white people. It can also make people who live in these communities more visible. Communities can also be empowered by being included in ecological projects. By involving minority groups from the beginning of a project, the project is more sustainable in the long term.

Dialogue on Diversity: Broadening the voices in urban and community forestry

Author: McDonough et al., US Forest Service (2003)
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Dialogue on Diversity: Broadening the Voices in Urban and Community Forestry reports the results of a national attempt to increase diversity in urban forestry efforts. This US Forestry project piloted a method of expanding urban forestry engagement by holding workshops across 11 different sites. This report showed that with enough effort, successful workshops can be held that identify new benefits for urban forestry.

Participatory development and the sustainable city: community forestry in Detroit

Author: Vachta & McDonough, The Pennsylvania State University at Harrisburg (2002)
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Participatory Development and the Sustainable City: Community Forestry in Detroit is a chapter in a book discussing sustainable city management. This chapter focuses on including equitable stakeholder engagement in these decisions by examining environmental investment in Detroit. After Detroit experienced a loss of about 1/5 of its city, green infrastructure projects were designed and implemented to fill the open areas. A series of projects were chosen by the communities, with public involvement. While implementation continued, a series of interviews were conducted to ensure the project was meeting community expectations.

Planning for inclusive urban ecological restoration

Author: Newman, Earthsake (2014)
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Planning for inclusive urban ecological restoration highlights some of the myths conservation managers might have about minority participation. It highlights how barriers such as only relying on volunteers and inaccessible comment periods make it challenging for diverse groups of people to participate even if they have interest in the project. The report claims conservation has a particular cultural perspective and may have different priorities than other cultural perspectives.

From brown to green? Assessing social vulnerability to environmental gentrification in New York City

Author: Hamil Pearsall, Clark University (2010)
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From brown to green? Assessing social vulnerability to environmental gentrification in New York City uses multiple linear regression to examine which factors determine if environmental improvements lead to gentrification. The report finds populations with low or fixed income such as seniors, people with disabilities, and people dependent on federal assistance can be significantly impacted by environmental gentrification. Areas that were redeveloped adjacent to other desirable amenities such as waterfront access, and easy public transit access experienced higher ecological gentrification.

Just green enough: contesting environmental gentrification in Greenpoint, Brooklyn

Author: Curran & Hamilton, DePaul University (2012)
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Just green enough: contesting environmental gentrification in Greenpoint, Brooklyn is a case study showing the benefits of partnerships between developers, environmentalists, and community members. While development can lead to displacement, there is a space for strategic development that does not negatively alter the neighborhood. Focusing on people’s health instead of aesthetics can protect the character of the neighborhood.

An Equitable Water Future

Author: US Water Alliance (2017)
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An Equitable Water Future highlights the main challenges and main solutions in water equity in the United States. There are 1.4 million Americans without access to modern plumbing. Affordability can also contribute to water inequity, the bottom 20% can pay 1/5 of their income on water bills. Communities might have disproportionate impacts from historical water quality threats such as nuclear testing or lead pipes. Examples of projects and organizations that are addressing these equity issues are provided. Equity and climate resilience are also discussed.

NatCap Checker

Author: Natural Capital Coalition (2019)
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The NatCap Checker is a tool by the Natural Capital Coalition, created to help organizations make more informed decisions that help conserve and enhance the natural capital that we all depend upon. It is a self-assessment tool that enables practitioners to assess, communicate, and improve the level of confidence in their natural capital assessments.

Nature and Health

Author: Hartig et al., (2014)
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This article presents the state of knowledge with regards to human health and well-being from contact with nature. The article includes a discussion of the term “nature,” a review of relevant research including linkages between nature and benefits, and the gaps, challenges, methodological approaches that could be used for future research.

Green Cities: Good Health

Author: University of Washington, U.S. Forest Service, and Urban and Community Forestry (N/A)
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Green Cities: Good Health is an online compilation and synthesis of research related to urban green spaces and human health and well-being. The website includes introductory material, summaries of current research into the numerous benefits of urban green space, future research, and a comprehensive list of references.