The Complex Interactions between Cities and Nature

Dani Broitman, Danny Czamanski, Marina Toger


Purpose: Proximity to nature is highly valued by urbanites. They demonstrate higher willingness to pay for housing at locations near open and green spaces. But, nature in cities can generate negative externalities as well. The aim of this paper is to present the complex relationship between nature and cities and the possible negative influence of urban nature on property prices.

Methodology/Approach: The data presented in this paper include open spaces, the presence of wild animals and residential property values in Haifa, Israel. These data were analyzed to uncover spatial regularities and basic statistical relationships.

Findings: The results reveal the expected presence of dominant positive externalities related to proximity to open and green areas. However, in certain areas and under certain circumstances, the nuisances generated by the presence of wild animals in close proximity to housing are correlated with lower property prices.

Research Limitation/implication: We demonstrate in this paper that that there is a complex relationship between nature and cities, albeit focusing our analysis on large mammals in cities only. Disentangling positive and negative externalities of urban nature is a challenging task. The paper presents an example of the potential difficulties that need to be dealt with in such analysis.

Originality/Value of paper: Through the case study, we show that there are good reasons to believe that there are both positive and negative externalities of nature in cities. To our best knowledge, attempts to disentangle both types of effects using property values do not exist in the literature.


urban nature; property prices; positive and negative externalities; disentangling

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