The Intertwine is the network of parks, trails, and natural areas in the Portland-Vancouver area. City of Portland residents use it everyday to hike, walk, and bike. They know its valuable, but just how much is it worth? Metro, the regional government for the Portland metropolitan area, asked ECONorthwest to come up with an answer.
ECONorthwest analyzed two components of the Intertwine's total value. First, staff calculated the value of ecosystem goods and services the Intertwine provides--including its effects on stormwater and water quality; benefits to wildlife and habitat; carbon sequestration and air filtration; and increased and enhanced recreational opportunities. Next, they monetized the Intertwine's effects on local property values.
ECONorthwest's results show that, over the next 20 years, the Interwine will provide about $1.5 billion in benefits from ecosystem goods and services to the local community and an additional $0.3 billion in benefits to non-local communities. ECONorthwest's results also show that properties within 900 feet of the Interwine sell for approximately 1 percent more than similar properties, in the same neighborhood, but more than 900 feet from a developed park.
Mark Buckley, Senior Economist, and Tom Souhlas, Policy Analyst, contributed to this report. Mark specializes in the economics of environmental policy and decision-making, particularly focused on water resources, forests, climate, and ecosystem services and Tom specializes in environmental policy and economics.