If a decision maker is presented with evidence that the monetised benefits of an intervention will exceed its cost, they are much more likely to invest in it. Likewise, if they are presented with evidence that one intervention will provide much more benefit than another, they are likely to invest preferentially in the former. If they are more concerned with some benefits than others, the more detailed evidence can be presented and weighed.
The Green Infrastructure valuation toolkit is a spreadsheet-basedtoolkit for quantifying and putting a monetary value on the benefits of a green infrastructure change.
Scale level and phase to be applied
The target group
The process of gathering the input data required, running the toolkit and interpreting the results is usually best undertaken by a professional organisation. The target group are decision makers, private companies or governments willing to invest.
Application in the planning process
The toolkit provides information that can help to secure funding, justify interventions and choose between scenarios. It can also help to raise awareness about the benefits of green infrastructure and the value of those benefits to society.
The toolkit takes the form of an Excel spreadsheet, plus a user guide. Input data on the green infrastructure change in question, as well as its socio-economic context, is entered into the spreadsheet, and the quantities and monetary value of the benefits that will result are automatically calculated and presented.
Input data can come from a wide variety of sources, including government statistics, site surveys and masterplans, the internet, and geographic data processed using a geographic information system (which may include green infrastructure mapping). If ideal source data is not available, input values can usually be estimated using proxies, or alternatively the tools relying on the data can be easily excluded.
The benefits are organised into eleven categories. For most of these the toolkit can quantify the benefits (e.g. amount of carbon sequestered), and for many of them it can also give a monetary value (e.g. market value of the carbon).
Most of the monetary values are calculated using a benefits transfer approach. As such, the figures will not be as robust as those calculated using primary data gathered in the study area. However, the toolkit is much quicker to run than most primary data studies, and data from any such studies can be incorporated.
Full description of the tool
Examples of application in practice