Public riverfront parks equal lots of green for Pittsburgh

By January 1, 2016Uncategorized

Do Pittsburgh’s parks and trails generate significant economic value? Riverlife contracted Boston-based planning firm Sasaki Associates to use a rigorous and quantifiable approach to answer this question by analyzing the economic benefits of Three Rivers Park in Pittsburgh.

Three Rivers Park is Pittsburgh’s 13-mile interconnected downtownriverfront park system. The Three Rivers Park Economic Impact Analysis summarizes key findings and makes a meaningful link between investments in park infrastructure along Pittsburgh’s riverfront and the ability to catalyze development, increase property value, and maximize other community benefits within neighboring zones.

Some of the chief findings include:

  • $129 million invested in Three Rivers Park over the past 15 years has helped to catalyze nearly $2.6 billion in riverfront development activity and nearly $4.1 billion in total riverfront and adjacent development. Just analyzing the $2.6 billion riverfront yield, the ratio between park investment and riverfront development is 20:1. This 20:1 yield is the high end of what has been achieved in comparable cities, and speaks to the strong success that has been accomplished along Pittsburgh’s waterfront.
  • Studying changes in property value since 2001, the data shows a 60% property value increase within the vicinity of riverfront investment projects compared with a 32% property value increase citywide outside the riverfront zone of influence (ZOI). The pattern in Pittsburgh and in other cities across the country is clear: properties with close proximity to high quality park infrastructure increase in value more than properties that do not.
  • The area with the highest property value increase in the area around the South Side Works. From the Birmingham Bridge to the Hot Metal Bridge and back past Carson Street, a new riverfront neighborhood has developed and property values have increased on average by 117%.Download a PDF version of the entire report here.