The social return on investment of an urban regeneration project using real-world data: the Connswater Community Greenway, Belfast, UK

Christopher Tate*, Ciaran O'Neill, Ngan Tran, Leonie Heron, Frank Kee, Mark A. Tully, Mary Dallat, Ruth F. Hunter

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
31 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Previous research has illustrated the role of urban green and blue spaces in improving the economic, social, environmental, and health-related outcomes of urban populations. The Connswater Community Greenway is presented as a case study to assess the social value of an urban regeneration project. Using real-world data from two time points (2012 and 2017), our analysis focussed on eight key elements: property values; flood alleviation; tourism; biodiversity; climate change; health and wellbeing; crime; and employment and productivity. Using social return on investment analysis, we estimated the value of the Connswater Community Greenway over a 40-year horizon. The total value was estimated to be between £56.8m and £67m. After subtracting the costs (£42.2m), the net present value of the Connswater Community Greenway was £14.6m - £24.8m. The benefit-cost ratio was 1.34 – 1.59, meaning that for every £1 invested in the Connswater Community Greenway, the local economy gains between £1.34 and £1.59. Overall, the Connswater Community Greenway will provide a positive return on investment which will be realised after 30 years. Social return on investment analysis provides a framework for the incorporation of many multifunctional benefits of urban green and blue spaces into economic evaluation, providing a more complete analysis of value.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)699-718
Number of pages20
JournalCities and Health
Volume7
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 23 May 2023

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