Recreational use value of Chandigarh city`s urban forestry

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Courtesy of Arid Forest Research Institute

Forests provide a range of benefits (both market and non-market) to the society. These non-market benefits (NMBs) or
intangible benefits include open access recreation, public amenity and landscape benefits. Urban forests or urban greens
are one of such resources, which are responsible for various environmental, social and educational benefits to the human
society. Pressure of ever-increasing human and traffic population is not only telling upon cities’ infrastructure but also
on green belts of these big cities. Certain unscrupulous elements in the society always try to grab such green open spaces,
especially in developing countries, for creation of concrete jungles. This happens because NMBs of such areas are not
correctly valued and not fully incorporated into cost-benefit analysis of different developmental projects and into decision
making on resource allocation. In this way there always remains danger of diverting these areas for other so-called
development purposes and in the end, the societal welfare is not maximized. Moreover, urban development projects often
decrease the amenity values of green spaces, which should be taken into consideration in planning. Therefore, quantitative
information on residents’ valuations attached to urban forestry is needed for assessing urban land-use. Keeping these
facts in view, an attempt was made to quantify the recreational use benefits of urban forestry of Chandigarh city of India,
which has been created after the country’s independence in 1947 and known for its urban forestry in India.

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