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Research article2020Peer reviewedOpen access

Stated benefits from air quality improvement through urban afforestation in an arid city – A contingent valuation in Mexicali, Baja California, Mexico

Munoz-Pizza, Dalia M.; Villada-Canela, Mariana; Rivera-Castaneda, Patricia; Reyna-Carranza, Marco A.; Osornio-Vargas, Alvaro; Martinez-Cruz, Adan L.


Cities in drylands are expected to experience increasing challenges when it comes to air pollution. Currently, concentrations of particulate matter in these cities frequently reach dangerous levels. Urban afforestation represents an alternative to increase human health in arid cities via air-filtering and dry deposition. By simulating a non-existing market through a contingent valuation protocol, this study estimates the willingness to contribute monetarily to an urban afforestation scenario in Mexicali -an arid city located at the US-Mexico border. We estimate an average annual willingness to pay (WTP) of (2019) USD 88 per household. Variations in WTP are associated with the respondent's perception of air quality and the presence of respiratory symptoms in the respondent's household. The smallest WTP (USD 75) is reported by those perceiving poor air quality in their neighborhood and with no household members affected by respiratory symptoms. Respondents perceiving good air quality and with at least one household member facing respiratory symptoms report a WTP of USD 99. The highest WTP represents around 0.8 % of the annual household income. This WTP, when extrapolated to and aggregated over the total number of households in Mexicali, justifies the implementation of an urban afforestation program supplying 30 thousand tree seedlings annually.


Air quality; Arid cities; Contingent valuation; Mexicali; Respiratory symptoms; Urban afforestation

Published in

Urban Forestry and Urban Greening
2020, Volume: 55, article number: 126854

    Sustainable Development Goals

    SDG11 Sustainable cities and communities

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