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And green streetscapes encourage active modes of transport, such as walking or cycling.Also important, tree canopies and urban green spaces have shown a significant cooling effect in cities, which reduces energy demands for air conditioning and lowers local emissions.In a study in Philadelphia, vacant lots—which are often associated with illegal activity—were cleaned of trash and illegal dumping, planted with grass and trees, and had a small wooden fence built around the perimeter.

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A related study in Philadelphia found study participants who walked by a ‘greened’ vacant lot showed decreased heart rate, a sign of reduced stress, compared to a control group.

The trees and vegetation in natural areas and green spaces improve water quality and air quality, particularly in larger cities, which has been connected to lower rates of asthma and wheezing in urban populations.

But the true return on investment for nature-based solutions is realized when the other, multiple benefits they provide are considered.

For example, wetlands, floodplains, forests, prairies and marshes improve water quality by filtering pollutants and sediment from water.

We’ve created this guide of nature-based solutions and included case studies of successful projects from across the country to help communities learn more and identify which nature-based solutions might work for them.

Nature offers a powerful set of tools for addressing hazards like flooding and erosion.Over 30 studies analyzing residential property values support the idea that those located near natural or green spaces are more valuable and generate more tax revenues—with property values up to 20% higher. commercial and recreational fisheries was estimated at over billion annually, with more than 1.7 million jobs related to the fisheries industry. is estimated to generate more than 0 billion in economic activity annually.To put these findings into a city-wide economic context, the study found the increased property values associated with a single greenbelt in Austin, Texas amounted to approximately .64 million in additional property tax revenue in just two neighborhoods. The vast majority of commercial and recreational fisheries rely on species that use floodplains and wetlands for some stage of their life cycle development. Also, in a series of studies about trees in business districts around the U. found shoppers were willing to spend more in areas with higher quality tree canopies or a more natural feel.For instance, we are safer when rivers have more room during floods and floodwaters can disperse and slow down rather than rise, rage and threaten communities.Along our coasts, natural features like sand dunes and marshes or coral reefs and oyster reefs reduce wave heights, absorb storm surges and help stop erosion.Economic benefits range from reduced flood damage costs (due to better flood protection) to lower water treatment costs to healthier fisheries, better recreational opportunities, and increased tourism and economic development.

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