An urban landscape expert is fine-tuning a web-based toolkit that puts a value on horticultural and natural elements of building projects.
Consultant Anne Jaluzot, a former Cabe Space enabler, said the toolkit could be used to prove that green space adds monetary value to housing and other developments.
The online kit consists of spreadsheets, green-value data and a calculator that focuses on climate change, health and well-being, land and property values. It was launched three years ago and was funded to £60,000 by four regional development agencies.
"The toolkit offers green-space managers, planners and developers a free, easy-to-use framework that, for the first time, identifies and estimates the potential economic benefits of green assets and landscape improvements," said Jaluzot.
She is seeking further funding from the Prince's Trust and Europe. The package has been trialled on 13 projects and impressed green-space leaders in France and Belgium, she added.
Swindon Triangle, a project to build 23 homes with sustainable urban drainage, green walls and roofing, espalier fruit trees and two kitchen gardens, used the toolkit to tot up its green assets, said landscape architect Luke Engleback.
Green elements added £453,220 in value to the project, the toolkit calculated. The project was highlighted by the HTA as part of its Plant for Life campaign to promote gardens and green spaces.
For more details, see www.greeninfrastructure.co.uk.
"We readily appreciate the aesthetic appeal of green spaces and planting in our towns and cities, but the true financial value of their social and environmental contribution can often go unrecognised. This toolkit is a valuable resource for developers and planning officers to help them realise the best return on their investment through the provision of green landscaping. The tool should be an essential part of any planning application."
Tim Briercliffe, business development director, HTA