A Systematic Review Exploring the Economic Valuation of Accessing and Using Green and Blue Spaces to Improve Public Health

Mary Lynch*, Llinos Haf Spencer, Rhiannon Tudor Edwards

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalSystematic Reviewpeer-review


Contact with the natural environment in green and blue spaces can have a valuable influence on population physical and mental health and wellbeing. The aim of this study is to explore the economic evidence associated with the public's value for accessing, using and improving local environments to undertake recreational activity and consuming the associated health benefits of green and blue spaces. Applying the Preferred Reporting Items for Systemic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines, a systematic literature search was conducted. Peer-reviewed articles were sought using electronic databases, scrutiny of reference lists, experts and grey literature. All relevant papers meeting the criteria were critically appraised for methodological quality using the Drummond checklist. The review search concluded with 12 papers applying the Grades of Recommendation, Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) approach to assess the quality with a narrative analysis conducted under the themes. Results suggest the public value access to green and blue spaces to undertake recreational activities and avoid delay or losing the recreational experience and associated health benefits. The public are willing to pay between £5.72 and £15.64 in 2019 value estimates for not postponing or losing an outdoor experience and for walking in local environments under current and improved environmental conditions, respectively. Valuation estimates indicate the public value green and blue spaces and are willing to pay to improve local environments to gain the health benefits of undertaking leisure activities in green and blue spaces.
Original languageEnglish
Article number4142
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jun 2020


  • blue space
  • economic evaluation
  • green space
  • physical activity
  • public health
  • valuing nature


Dive into the research topics of 'A Systematic Review Exploring the Economic Valuation of Accessing and Using Green and Blue Spaces to Improve Public Health'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this