Non-market valuation of urban ecosystem services in Penang, Malaysia

This thesis explores the non-market values of ecosystem services in Penang's urban green spaces, addressing threats posed by urbanization. Utilizing non-market valuation techniques, this study aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the contributions of urban green spaces to the local economy. The first topic assesses urban residents' preferences using the best-worst scaling method, highlighting air quality as crucial but revealing inconsistencies in preferences. The second topic applies the travel cost method to analyse visit preferences and behaviours, emphasizing the significance of incorporating time-related costs for understanding travel patterns. The third topic employs a discrete choice experiment to reveal trade-offs between green space characteristics and travel distance, emphasizing the high value placed on improved air quality. The fourth topic uses a Seemingly Unrelated Regression model to explore the impact of spatial data on willingness to pay, showing insights into how spatial characteristics influence preferences. The fifth topic employs a simulation framework to assess the economic benefits of attribute changes in Penang's urban green spaces, emphasizing increased consumer surplus with improvements. Overall, these findings contribute valuable insights into resident preferences, spatial influences, and economic implications, offering guidance for sustainable urban development to local policymakers.
Type of thesis
The University of Waikato
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