BENEVEG : The Benefits of Urban Vegetation

Project details

  • Lead : Plante & Cité
  • Partners : UMR GRANEM
  • Funding : Val'Hor, Plante & Cité
  • Duration : 2012-2013, project completed
  • Plante & Cité correspondents : Damien Provendier, Pauline Laïlle


  • Themes : Economy and management / Plants – landscaping – urbanism: integrated approaches
  • Sub-themes : landscape planning, Health and well-being, Societal demand, Sustainable management practice
  • Key words : ecosystem services – well-being – benefits of plants – profit – living environments – cost management – indicators


  • To evaluate ecosystem services from economic and well-being perspectives.
  • To help public decision-makers understand the market and non-market benefits of plants in urban planning.
  • To propose indicators which can be used to evaluate the full spectrum of plant ecosystem services, by identifying and prioritising key factors from international research.
  • To develop diagnostic tool to integrate the benefits of urban vegetation into the public decision and urban planning processes. 


This Plante & Cité study summarises findings from the scientific literature on the various benefits of urban vegetation.

The key benefits studied were: human health and well-being, social cohesion and identity, biodiversity, thermal regulation, air quality, water drainage, optimising the built environment, utilising plant products, tourism and regional attractiveness.

(2012-2013) – Current knowledge on the benefits of urban vegetation
An international literature review summarised the current knowledge on the benefits of urban vegetation. The qualitative and quantitative analysis of more than 200 scientific publications evaluated the effectiveness and robustness of each ecosystem service in the urban landscape.

(2013) – An international analysis on the value of green spaces
In partnership with UMR GRANEM (Angers), this part of the study focused on the economic value of urban vegetation.
A meta-analysis of international research was conducted to determine the value of urban nature. Sixty-six studies, conducted between 1965 and 2011, were surveyed. They measured the value of proximity to urban green spaces by the hedonic pricing method.
Each study proposed several potential values; in total we analysed 369 different measurements of the effect of proximity to green spaces on property prices.

(2013) – Diagnostic tool for integrating the benefits of urban vegetation into planning projects
The study of key factors influencing the benefits of urban vegetation identified five lines of investigation which could evaluated, with the aim to integrate the associated benefits during the urban planning process.

  • Area of vegetated surfaces (private and public areas)
  • Accessibility of public green spaces
  • Ability to regulate the environment (temperature, water, air)
  • Ecological balances
  • Functional and attractive landscaping


From these five lines of investigation, the authors proposed a tool to analyse a space and to take vegetation factors into account in urban planning projects. This method, adapted to the local context and to several development-based hypotheses, aims to identify the priority areas for improvement in order to optimise the benefits of green spaces and the effect of ecosystem services.


Urban planning is always related to a specific local context (geographical, ecological, social). Proposed indicators should not be considered as standards, but as methodological tools to aid and validate urban planning projects. This study aimed to bring these elements to the attention of the various stakeholders involved in decision making and planning with regard to urban vegetation, so as to enrich the consultation phases.


To view the report

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