Economic Benefits of Parks

In 2014, the Parks Alliance partnered with the Trust for Public Land on a report detailing the impact of San Francisco's recreation programs, parks and open spaces on the local economy. The report found, not surprisingly, that San Francisco's iconic parks and natural beauty generate a lot of tax revenues and business activity, approaching $1 billion each year.  Park lovers have known for a long time that investing in building new parks and maintaining old ones is good for our City, and now we know just how good. The report proves that building and maintaining a flourishing parks system is sound fiscal policy. Download a full copy of the report here.

Read the SF Parks Alliance press release on the report.

Research highlights:

Parks contribute to City revenues in two ways: property taxes and tourism.
Increased annual SF property tax revenues/assessment attributed to proximity to a San Francisco park: $24.7 million
Increased annual SF tax revenues from park-related tourism: $46.9 million

Parks contribute to the wealth of SF residents.
Increased property sales value in 2013 from property located within 500 feet of a park: $122.5 million
Profits to businesses from park-related tourism in 2013: $431.1 million

Parks save SF residents money.
Direct use value of park facilities (the amount residents would pay to use equivalent private facilities): $211.9 million
Health benefits from use of public parks: $49.2 million

The environmental benefits of parks save the City money.
Annual reduction in SF stormwater management costs each year resulting from parkland: $1.92 million
The role of parks in reducing SF air pollution cost each year: $3.12 million

Compared with other major cities, the economic benefits generated by San Francisco's iconic parks and extensive recreation options are quite large.

San Francisco's parks generate more property value. Increased market value of properties attributable to parks:
Denver (2008): $784.4 million
Seattle (2009): $1.64 billion
San Francisco (2013): $2.02 billion

Park-related tourism generates significantly more tax revenues in San Francisco than other cities. Tax revenues from park-related tourism:
Denver (2008): $3.1 million
Seattle (2009): $4.4 million
San Francisco (2013): $46.9 million

San Francisco's parks provide great benefits to the local environment. The role of parks in reducing air pollution costs each year:
Denver (2008): $0.13 million
Seattle (2009): $0.52 million
San Francisco (2013): $3.12 million

Stormwater cost savings due to parks:
Denver (2008): $0.80 million
Seattle (2009): $2.31 million
San Francisco (2013): $1.92 million