The value of the shading function of urban trees: A replacement cost approach

Eva Horváthová (Lead Author), Tomas Badura, Helena Duchková

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17 Citations (Scopus)
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Cooling is one of the most important benefits of street trees, yet city planners lack estimates of the value of this benefit. Estimation of the value of the cooling effect could help to strengthen the case for investment in a tree cover as a part of the urban infrastructure for climate change adaptation. This article aims to address this research gap by presenting a novel application of a replacement cost method using the costs of parasols for estimating the value of shade provided by urban trees. Using the method, we calculated the net present value of the shade from a generic tree and used these estimates in a case study in Prague, Czech Republic. The results showed that the costs of tree planting and maintenance were higher than the estimated shading benefits in the short term (20–30 years), but the situation reversed when the tree life expectancy increased (> 40 years). Street trees are hence a long-term investment in terms of microclimate regulation. The proposed approach can assist city planners with an assessment of microclimate regulation by urban trees as it can be easily applied with local data, and can complement other methods to show the wider benefits of urban trees.
Original languageEnglish
Article number127166
JournalUrban Forestry and Urban Greening
Early online date28 Apr 2021
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2021


  • City trees
  • Ecosystem services
  • Microclimate benefits
  • Prague
  • Urban cooling

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