"Money talks, so talk about trees' economic benefits," says John Parker in TED talk

There are many benefits to urban trees but the the economic ones are often the most useful for tree managers to deploy, former London Tree Officers Assocation (LTOA) chairman John Parker says in a "TEDx" talk newly published online.

Image: TEDxCanton
Image: TEDxCanton

"With property sales, well-maintained green infrastructure around new houses can increase the amount of money the they sell for, and decrease the amount of time it will be sat on the market," he said in the talk, published online this week.

"For us as tree managers, that's useful for when we have developers saying, 'we have to cut down the trees because we want to put in more units and make more money', we can say, 'hang on - if you retain the trees and work around them, that will bring you in more money'."

And he pointed out: "People will spend more time in shops which have trees outside them, or green infrastructure around them., and they will spend more money in those shops than they would elsewhere."

He added: "The economic arguments for trees aren't my favourite ones, but they are useful because money talks and trees deliver economic benefits all over the place."

Other benefits of urban forests and green spaces range from better social cohesion to improved child development, he explained.

Parker's talk was delivered in Cardiff in May, while he was still LTOA chairman, to an audience of non-specialists, and can be viewed here.

TEDx events use the highly successful TED conference format but are organised independently by local groups, who invite brief talks from specialists in a range of disciplines.

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