Werner Stiegler, arguing for more public green space in Florida, said “One needs to look no further than real estate ads to see that the demand for greenery is strong. It is common for ads to reference proximity to parks, and the value of greenery is often reflected in the price of properties close to green spaces.” Why should this be so? What is it about images of nature that so captivates us? Why do we seek recreation as an ‘escape’ from the city to ‘nature’?
Riding Mountain National Park in Canada forms part of the UNESCO International Biosphere Reserve. It “offers opportunities to study agricultural land uses and changes in relation to natural process ecosystems.” Use of land for agriculture is often the first stage of the alienation of land from its ‘wilderness’ state. As such it has much to tell us about our implicit and explicit valuation of land, apart from its scenic or existence value. Image courtesy Riding Mountain National Park Canada