Thompson Rivers University

New book examines value of city parks

December 7, 2022

KAMLOOPS– TRU economics Professor Peter Tsigaris and his class of graduate students have published a new book that estimates the value of Kamloops parks: A Study of the Value of Kamloops Parks.

The project, done over the course of a semester, looks at how to apply theoretical work and ensuing results, as well as how to make economics free of technical jargon to be understood by the public. The research demonstrates the significant value of green infrastructure and can be used for local park and development planning for future sustainability.

“It is very important that we start putting value not only on physical assets, but also recognizing the capital present within nature and show its importance to society,” Tsigaris says. “When you substitute nature for physical capital, there is a cost, seen in losing ecosystem services which should be accounted for in a cost-benefit valuation of the project.”

Tsigaris was inspired by the work of Paul Sutton, a University of Denver professor who assessed the value of New York city’s iconic Central Park through the recreational, regulatory and supporting ecosystem services it provides. He localized the concepts for his students and community, a methodology supported by Sutton who authored the book’s forward.

The value of physical capital in Kamloops (such as housing and commercial buildings) is recognized at approximately $24 billion as of 2022, according to BC Assessment. However, Tsigaris and his team believe the value of parks can easily exceed that. Parks as assets provide opportunities for tourism, recreation and culture, air quality regulation, and habitat for plants and animals. For example, Kenna Cartwright Nature Park, the largest urban park in British Columbia, has an estimated value of $3 billion. The annual flow of ecosystem services was estimated at $45 million and rises by two per cent per year.

The book contains 11 chapters, with each student assigned to study a Kamloops park. The free book is available online at

Peter Tsigaris, economics professor
Bob Gaglardi School of Business and Economics, Thompson Rivers University
250-371-5732 |