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10/6/2014 - Mayor Finch and Fairfield University Release Study on Bridgeport Parks and their Economic Impact

“Investing in our parks is an investment in our children—and our future in the Park City.” – Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch

Bridgeport, Conn. (October 6, 2014) – The city park down the street helps keep your kids healthy. It also helps your property value as well, according to a study conducted by Fairfield University. On Monday, Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch joined Fairfield University President Rev. Jeffrey P. von Arx to announce key findings from a study about the economic impact of parks in the Park City.

CLICK HERE FOR A PHOTO: (Caption: Mayor Bill Finch, Reverend Jefferey P. von Arx, and staffers from Fairfield University and the City of Bridgeport discuss a new parks economy study at Ellsworth Park in Bridgeport, Conn.).

“In Bridgeport, we’re focused on making our city a place where companies want to invest and hire people, and a place where even more people choose to live, work, and raise their families,” said Mayor Finch. “Parks play a key role in doing just that. By re-opening Pleasure Beach this summer, building a new Knowlton Park, and continuing to enhance places like Seaside Park, we’re improving the quality of life for our residents while increasing property values in our neighborhoods. That’s why this study is so important, and shows that the city is doing right by residents, and building toward a more prosperous future.”

The study was conducted by Professor Dina Franceshi and her students at Fairfield University. It examines the economic impact that parks create. The study concluded that city parks are economic incubators for the community. They not only promote public health and a healthy environment but also raise property values in neighborhoods.

Here are key findings from the study

  • Parks Increase property values. Residential properties located within one tenth of a mile from a park in Bridgeport have, on average, an 8 percent higher property value than residential properties located within the next tenth from a park. Commercial properties show an even greater gain in property value within the first tenth of a mile from a park, showing an 11 percent increase compared to properties in the second tenth of a mile from a park.


  • Parks Improve health and quality of life. There are 9.3 acres of green, open parkland for every 1000 Bridgeport residents, totaling up to 1356 acres of parks. And, 88 percent of residents live within a 10 minute walk to one of Bridgeport’s 46 parks. Bridgeport’s parks facilities offer a multitude of recreational activities.


  • Parks result in city-wide volunteerism uptick. According to estimates made by the Park City Schools and Community Alliance, approximately 386,375 hours of documented community service in the Bridgeport City Park System took place between the beginning of April 2012 and the end of May 2014.


  • Parks provide benefits for water filtration and re-use. If we woke up tomorrow, and someone had developed all of Bridgeport’s parkland, this would add 729,900,000 gallons of water to the volume that the WPCA already treats per year, and Bridgeport taxpayers would collectively pay $751,289 more in water treatment related taxes every year.


"Fairfield University is proud to have worked in partnership with the City of Bridgeport on this significant project,” said Fairfield University President von Arx. “We are delighted that our Professor Dina Franceshi and her Environmental Impact Class were able to participate in a study that supported the viability and the economic good-sense of preserving parkland for the city. Fairfield University is part of the fabric of the Bridgeport community. Nearly 100 of our faculty and staff live and raise their families in Bridgeport, and there are over 1100 Fairfield graduates who hail from Bridgeport. In every important respect the health and vibrancy of the city of Bridgeport and the health and vibrancy of Fairfield University go hand in hand — so we are always looking for an opportunity to deepen and strengthen our relationship."