The Financial Impact of Street-Level Greenery on NYC Commercial Buildings


Background Information

Urban street-level greenery is documented to improve mental and physical health, improve productivity, increase urban environmental equality and reduce carbon footprints. In addition to these benefits, researchers from MIT’s Real Estate Innovation Lab have found that there is a statistically positive impact on transaction price and rent premiums.



Google has developed an index called the Green View Index (GVI) which uses street view images and quantifies a greenery score by running the photos through an image recognition software.

The researchers used a dataset of transacted properties in NYC and correlated the transaction values and rents achieved to the GVI within a 30, 50, 80 and 100 meter radius. They isolated the value generated by street level greenery by controlling for building age, whether it has been renovated, the number of floors in the building, the building class, and various other qualitative and quantitative attributes.



Properties with a high Green View Index experienced a transaction premium of 8.2%-10.2% and a rent premium of 5.6%-8.5%. These findings are statistically significant and robust. As a result, the benefits of greenery are not only environmental, but also financial, which should provide an incentive for city planners and developers to implement more of it in the conceptualization phases of new projects.

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