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Cost of residential landscape design in San Francisco Bay Area could be cut by about a third, new study finds
The cost of creating residential landscapes in the Bay Area could be cut by about a third, as well as a third to a half of the greenhouse gas emissions, a new study from the landscape architecture and urban forestry departments of the UC Berkeley College of Environmental Design suggests.
The study, by Su Zhao, assistant professor in UC Berkeley's College of Environmental Design, and Liana Kirkwood, a postdoctoral fellow in the College of Environmental Design, was inspired by the concept of "urban canopy," which suggests that the amount of vegetation in a city area can be an important factor in housing affordability.
UC Berkeley's College of Environmental Design School of Urban Planning, University of Washington, and the University of Washington
During his research, Kirkwood observed two communities in Washington state, one in which a city had an abundance of green space and another in which the city was almost entirely made up of concrete.
"One city had a beautiful green canopy," she says. "The other one is very heterogeneous. It has very few green spaces. They're dense and people live next to each other. It's very sparse."
Both communities were similar in their social makeup, and by looking at detailed maps of the area, Kirkwood, Zhao, and their colleagues were able to find correlations between canopy density and the cost of a house.
"In our study, we found that the fewer green spaces there are in a city, the more costly the housing," she says. "If there's more green space, it's cheaper to buy housing."
"The rate of return of green space is much higher than the rate of return of a stock market. You don't need a lot of money to start investing in green space."
Dense cities in the United States tend to have high rates of income and home prices, and there is concern that green space is disappearing because of the disproportionate growth of dense, high-cost communities in urban areas. However, little research has been done on the relationship between housing cost and canopy density.
"In our study, we found that the fewer green spaces there are in a city, the more costly the housing. If there's more green space, it's cheaper to buy housing."
"This study points out how important green space is to people and to housing prices," Kirkwood says. "It's important to look at that. People do care about it. They want green space."
The researchers looked at data from the San Francisco Bay Area, where some of the most expensive housing is in the Central Valley of California and the communities where people tend to live in Marin County, which is about an hour's drive from San Francisco.
"Central Valley houses are two to three times more expensive than Marin County houses," Zhao says. "This leads to high housing cost in the Bay Area."
Zhao says that the concept of urban canopy that has become the basis for urban green space planning in the Bay Area was developed in the 1950s, when a Japanese architect called Kunio Maekawa observed that the light shed by an umbrella tree in downtown Tokyo provided natural light to people walking through the area.
In San Francisco, the light from the overcast sky comes down to the tops of trees, providing shade in summertime. The San Francisco Bay Area is very urbanized, and so there is a great deal of shade on sidewalks and streets, says Zhao. "The rate of return of green space is much higher than the rate of return of a stock market. You don't need a lot of money to start investing in green space."
Looking at the map of vegetation and housing in the area, Zhao and Kirkwood decided to look at a neighborhood in the city of San Francisco's Mission District and compare it to another neighborhood with similar demographics. Their research focused on two smaller neighborhoods in the study, one known as Chorale, with shade on some streets and no shade on others, and another known as the Gayton St. Neighborhood, where there is shade on most streets.
Zhao says that an interesting thing about these two neighborhoods is that the rate of return of green space is much higher than the rate of return of a stock market. "The rate of return of green space is much higher than the rate of return of a stock market," she says. "You don't need a lot of money to start investing in green space."
The researchers found that the density of green space in the Gayton neighborhood is 3.54 percent. They found that the Chorale neighborhood had a vegetation density of 0.78 percent.
"Die persentasie grondgroen ruimte is ongeveer 20 persent hoër in die koorbuurt," sê sy.
Die navorsers het ook na die waterinfiltrasietempo gekyk en gevind dat die Gayton -woonbuurt hoër tariewe het as die Chorale -woonbuurt.
Zhao en Kirkwood het nog 'n studie wat hulle doen wat wiskundige modellering sal gebruik om te voorspel hoeveel groen ruimte in die Baai -gebied benodig word om bekostigbaarheid te verseker. Hulle sal die verhouding tussen die plantegroei van 'n woonbuurt en die behuisingsprys bepaal.
"Ons gaan 'n model hê wat ons in staat stel om die verhouding tussen groen ruimte en behuising te voorspel," sê Zhao.
"Dit is die eerste studie wat hierdie twee komponente, die bekostigbare behuising en die persentasie groen ruimte, verbind," sê sy. 'Ons sal kyk na die verhouding tussen hierdie twee aspekte van die Baai -gebied.'
Zhao sê dit in die toekoms,