User behavior in contingent valuation and travel cost - The case of Parque das Palmeiras in Chapecó, SC, Brazil

Débora Carneiro Leite, Claudio Alcides Jacoski

Abstract


The creation and maintenance of public areas for environmental preservation, recreation and leisure has been one of the challenges faced by public managers. Located in an area of urban expansion of Chapecó, Parque das Palmeiras is subject to environmental risk, making it a fragile natural asset. The aim of this study was to verify the characteristic behavior of park users using two methods for economic value assessment, i. e., “contingent valuation” and “travel cost” for estimating the value to maintain the park functions by users and the population using a questionnaire composed of socioeconomic and attitudinal issues. The application of the contingent valuation method revealed that the population is willing to pay for the maintenance of park functions an average of R$ 7.14/month. Thus, the estimated value for the yearly maintenance of the park functions is R$ 14,651,280.00. Regarding the application of the cost of travel it was possible to identify that the largest users’ participation is from surrounding towns such as Bela Vista and Jardim América. The added value achieved by applying the method of travel cost was R$ 5,580.00. A reference value to keep the Parque das Palmeiras may support government management decisions for the maintenance this natural asset, also directing for the application of economic instruments as a way to offseting environmental damage cost.

Keywords


environmental valuation; willingness to pay; environmental assets; economics of the environment



Revista Ambiente & Água. ISSN:1980-993X  DOI:10.4136/1980-993X

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