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Martin Kelly to Chair Urban Trees Debate

18th February 2014

Capita’s Martin Kelly will be chairing a session at the international urban trees research conference ‘Trees, People and the Built Environment II’ which takes place from 2nd – 3rd of April at the University of Brmingham.

Martin, who will also be taking part in his capacity as chair of the Tress and Design Action Group, will be hosting Parallel Session 1A: Global Perspectives at 13.50 on Wednesday 2nd April.

Trees, People and the Built Environment II will provide a unique forum where over 400 key professionals from across the globe will come together to discuss common concerns, collaborate, share knowledge and work together for a greener and more sustainable future.

A pre-conference article delivered by Dr Kathleen Wolf, Research Social Scientist, University of Washington, highlights the benefits that city trees can bring to a population – including improved private property values and shoppers responses in business districts. She said: “Studies have found that nearby trees, particularly large ones, can boost the price of a home from 2% to 15%. Local governments capture those price effects in sales or property taxes across neighborhoods, providing the revenue needed to manage trees so they remain healthy and vital for decades.”

Many merchants in central business districts strive to provide a favorable shopping experience for their visitors. A well-cared-for tree canopy extends that customer service from the front door to the curb, and with good return for the effort.

Dr Kathleen Wolf

Dr Kathleen Wolf

University of Washington


“In multiple studies having a mature urban forest within business districts and commercial areas promotes positive shopper perceptions and behavior, providing bottom-line benefits. Consumers claim that they will travel greater distances and for longer amounts of time to visit a forested district, thus expanding the catchment area for visitors. Once in the district people claim that they are willing-to-pay from 9% to 12% more for equivalent goods and services in shopping districts that have a mature, high quality tree canopy.”

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