Estimating the Public's Value for Urban Forest in the Seoul Metropolitan Area of Korea: A Contingent Valuation Study
AbstractUrban forests have various environmental benefits that contribute to the quality of urban life. These values, however, have been underestimated or have never been reflected in urban development planning in Korea. As a result, a number of forests in urban areas were either partly or wholly destroyed without their public's value being assessed explicitly. The objective of this paper is to estimate the value attached by the public to Kwanggyo Mountain in the Seoul Metropolitan Area of Korea using a contingent valuation survey, aimed at providing policy-makers with useful information to make an informed public decision in urban development planning. The survey was carefully designed and implemented to meet a number of recommendation rules suggested in the literature. The overall results show that the respondents received the hypothetical scenario well and would be willing to pay a significant amount for the proposed programme of conserving the mountain. The total value stated by the public amounted to approximately 3.77 billion Korean won (US$2.9 million) per year. This quantitative information can be used in policy-making process for urban development plans.