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4 Great Reasons to Invest in Cities’ Natural Environments

1. Investing in Surrounding Wetlands can save Cities Billions of Dollars in Water Purification

The City of New York invested $1.5 billion over 10 years into protecting their water sources, which meant they were able to avoid building a water treatment plant that would have cost the city $8-$10 billion.

2. Investing in Rivers and Coastal Wetlands Reduces Cities’ Storm Protection Costs
The City of Calgary is investing in protecting and restoring the city’s river ecosystems through it’s Riparian Strategy because they have found that protecting these areas helps to protect the city from floods and erosion, and improves water quality.

Studies have also found that coastal wetlands can reduce the severity of impacts from hurricanes in the United States, providing storm protection services with an estimated value of US$23.2 billion per year.

3. Integrating The Natural Environment into Hospitals Reduces Healthcare Costs
A study published in Science by Richard S. Ulrich in 1984 found that patients recovering from surgery in rooms with windows facing a natural setting had shorter hospital stays and took less pain medicine than patients whose windows faced a brick wall.

4. Investing in Outdoor Trail Systems Supports Local Economies
The City of Toronto’s Natural Environment Trail Strategy found that well-maintained recreational trail systems encourage spending by trail users at surrounding local businesses.

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