A regional approach to flood risk can help communities pool resources and implement effective solutions. Five case studies offer lessons.
Green Infrastructure: Cost-effective solutions to flooding
Green infrastructure can provide long-term, cost-effective solutions to flooding and can help communities adapt to climate change. We provide a cost breakdown for eight green infrastructure practices.
Economic Impact of National Parks
Millions of national park visitors generate economic opportunities for gateway communities, spending money that creates jobs and income. See the trends for every national park service unit.
Local revenue to fund long-term infrastructure costs
Communities need resilient revenue strategies to fund the long-term costs of capital improvements and infrastructure.
The economic potential of the Great American Rail-Trail
Through 12 states and the District of Columbia, the Great American Rail-Trail® will attract 25.6 million trips and generate more than $229.4 million in spending.
Mountain, Midwest, and Gulf States fail to secure FEMA resilience funding
Rural and lower capacity communities failed to successfully compete for FEMA Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) funding in FY 2020.
Outdoor Recreation: A top driver of Wisconsin’s economy
The outdoor recreation economy contributes $7.8 billion, or 2.4% to Wisconsin’s GDP and generates more than 93,000 jobs across diverse sectors.
The Economic Impact of the Huron River
In southeastern Michigan, the Huron River Trail benefits the community through spending at local businesses, higher property values along the river, and recreational enjoyment. The authors also measure benefits from biological diversity, wetland flood reduction, and aesthetic values but these are connected to the river, not just the trail.
Municipal investment in off-road trails and changes in bicycle commuting in Minneapolis, Minnesota over 10 years: a longitudinal repeated cross-sectional study
This study in Minneapolis, Minnesota, finds that commuting rates by bicycle increased substantially between 2000 and 2010 once 10 miles of paved paths separated from roadways were created. Using careful statistical methods, they show that neighborhoods closest to the new paths and with the most commuting routes crossing the paths had the greatest increases in bike commuting rates.
Commercial Activities on National Forests
Updated: Headwaters Economics produced two interactive maps to show the range of commercial activities on National Forests at the Forest, state and forest region levels.
Neighborhoods at Risk
Integrate socioeconomic and climate data to map neighborhoods at risk in selected cities.
Children with Attention Deficits Concentrate Better After Walk in the Park
A formal walking program for children diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) finds that low-intensity walks in an urban park are associated with significantly greater improvement in cognitive function than similar walks in residential or downtown settings. The improvements measured are on par with improvements associated with the most typical medications prescribed for ADHD, and cognitive performance for participants after walking is comparable to the average performance of children who have not been diagnosed with ADHD.
Great Lakes Cities Vulnerability Assessment Tool
Identify neighborhoods in six Great Lakes cities that meet socioeconomic vulnerability criteria.
The Impacts of Central Ohio Trails
This thorough study of a 111-mile regional trail network around Columbus, Ohio found that trail users travelled roughly 11.9 million miles in 2014, mostly by bicycle. Higher population density, easy access from neighborhoods, connection to other trails, and longer trails are associated with greater use.
The Economic Impacts of Active Silent Sports Enthusiasts
In northern Wisconsin, 95 percent of participants in non-motorized events are non-local, and these participants take more than four trips per year to the area on average, generating substantial economic impact. The two most important factors affecting non-residents’ decision to visit were the quality of trails and the quality of trail mapping and signage.
Motorized Outdoor Recreation and Tourism Development within Trailside Communities
In southwestern Wisconsin, a 47-mile trail is a destination for non-local motorized trail users, who generate over $13 million dollars in spending each year. When the study was conducted, the railroad owner had petitioned to rebuild a portion of the rail line along the trail. This study was used to demonstrate the trail’s benefits to communities near the trail.
Trails and their gateway communities: A case study of recreational use compatibility and economic impacts
A 98-mile rail trail in northern Wisconsin and Minnesota attracts roughly 46,400 visits per year, with trail users spending $118 per trip, on average. Despite high visitation and spending, the trail’s economic impact could be increased with better connections between nearby towns, and through businesses-like bike shops that target trail users.
A Cost-Benefit Analysis of Physical Activity Using Bike/Pedestrian Trails
Trails in Lincoln, Nebraska have the potential to generate large benefits for trail users in terms of avoided medical costs. These benefits may significantly outweigh the per capita cost of trail construction and maintenance. However, due to simplifying assumptions made regarding both benefits and costs, the cost-benefit ratios are unreliable.
County Payment Reform Ideas, and Analysis of Recent Proposals
Reform ideas for future county payments from Headwaters Economics as well analysis of proposals made in the House, Senate, and by the President.
Community and Economic Benefits of Bicycling in Michigan
This study found that bicycling in Michigan generates $224 million annually through retail spending, manufacturing, and event and tourism spending. Additionally, the improved health of those who commute to work by bicycle in the state is associated with up to $256 million in avoided annual health care costs.