May 13, 2015
Sustainability scientist Deepak Chhabra, a professor in the School of Community Resources and Development, led a study commissioned by the Maricopa County Parks and Recreation Department to demonstrate how investment in public parks provides an economic return.
Using survey data from park visitors to eight iconic parks – six in Maricopa County and two that span into Pinal and Yavapai counties – the team ran impact studies for each park, as well as an aggregate study on the Phoenix metropolitan area. For every dollar invested by Maricopa County parks, Chhabra and her team found approximately $1.40 was generated, after costs.
Chhabra noted that although individual park returns varied, it is difficult to determine why; the size of the park and amenities offered differ and could factor in. This provides feedback to the parks on how they might improve their individual results.