Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science



First Advisor

Lucius F. Hallett IV, PhD.

Second Advisor

Lisa M. DeChano-Cook, PhD.

Third Advisor

Nicholas L. Padilla, PhD.

Fourth Advisor

Kathleen M. Baker, PhD.


Green spaces, network analysis, non-use values, parks, sustainability, use values

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


Urban parks and green spaces have become an important part of the urban ecosystems in recent years, and there is growing evidence on the positive relationship between having green spaces and good health. Indeed, access to urban parks is part of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development goals (Goal 11 target 7). In recent years, these parks and green spaces have become a subject of development pressures because of the inability of planners and researchers to clearly articulate the value of these parks. The Total Economic Value Framework (TEVF) situates resources (Parks and green spaces in this case) in the minds of the people as to how these parks are beneficial to them. This study seeks to assess the total economic value of parks in Kalamazoo County, Michigan by employing a mix of anonymous surveys of residents in Kalamazoo County as well as GIS-based network analysis. Specifically, principal component analysis was used to analyze survey variables relating to Direct Use, Indirect Use Existence and Bequest Values. Results indicate an inclination of residents towards the existence and bequest values of these parks and a commitment to spend money on these values. It is recommended that efforts and strategies be put in place by decision makers to ensure the protection of these spaces because of the values they provide.