Residents prefer improved urban green spaces – Addis Ababa

ReStory narrators: Dawit Mulatu, Jessica Alvsilver, Juha Siikamäki

When ecosystems are lost, there are long-term costs and impacts, often high in value. These impacts, however, are difficult to measure for urban green spaces. This is because research on these spaces and the influence on and by communities, are not extensive enough.

Neighbourhood park in Addis Ababa

Addis Ababa is the capital of Ethiopia and urbanisation is increasing and unsustainable. This creates pressure on urban green spaces, negatively affecting the beauty and attractiveness thereof and threatening the ability of these spaces to provide ecological, social and economic functions.

The research we did (Mulatu et al. 2019) presented residents with different scenarios. Each scenario measured the citizens’ willingness-to-pay for various amenities.

Urban agriculture and greening practices in Addis Ababa
Urban agriculture and greening practices in Addis Ababa

We found that residents are indeed willing to pay for access to multi-use parks close to their homes. The willingness to pay for access to amenities, however, decreases as the distance from their homes increase. The next best option was green parks with walk or cycling options. They were also willing to pay for urban nature restoration programs and urban forest conservation.

Declines in green spaces could have negative effects, both on the environment and on the people. And form our study, it is clear that residents need and want these green urban spaces.

Further reading:

This piece is based on research done by Mulatu et al. (2019). See the articles below for full details on the research.

Dawit W. Mulatu, Jessica Alvsilver and Juha Siikamäki (2019) Placing a value on residents’ preferences for improved urban green spaces and the services they provide in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, EfD, DRB (Discussion Paper Research Brief) 19-02, April 2019

Dawit W. Mulatu, Jessica Alvsilver, and Juha Siikamäki (2019) Valuing residents’ preferences for improved urban green space ecosystem services in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, EfD Series 19-02 (2019).