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VAPSA aims at developing a hedonic price model to assess the economic impacts of cultural heritage on the real estate values in the Veneto Region. VASPA is funded by FEEM.

Economic as well as urban development may depend on a great variety of factors. Among these, in Italy, built cultural heritage plays a key role given its quantity and outstanding quality. Cultural heritage is increasingly appreciated by civil society, and this enables us to assess its value, or better, its capacity to improve the quality of the context where it is located.

There are different ways to value the public benefits produced by cultural heritage amenities.
This research applies an hedonic approach. It is based on the assumption that real estate commodities are aggregates of different characteristics. These characteristics, although not sold separately, have a significant impact on market values. Hence, the value of services produced by cultural heritage can be estimated observing the variation in real estate values due to a variation of the quantity and quality of cultural heritage at the same location. The hedonic approach is therefore quite suitable for the valuation of public goods or services in urban areas with an active real estate market.

In this project, we survey the real estate values, the kind and number of cultural architectural amenities, the main social and economic characteristics at the municipality level, covering the whole Veneto Region, to estimate a hedonic price model to assess, if any, the economic impacts of cultural heritage on the real estate values. The research is organised in four major phases, in addition to a review of the literature on the most significant hedonic price applications to the valuation of cultural heritage. The first phase of the project’s activities is dedicated to a survey of real estate market values in all the municipalities of the Veneto Region. In the second phase, all the information on demographic, economic, social, environmental and territorial characteristics, which might have an impact on real estate values, is collected. Subsequently, the indicators for the quantity and quality of cultural heritage objects to be found in the territory are estimated for each municipality. Finally, an econometric function will be estimated in order to highlight the contribution and the significance of cultural heritage on real estate values.

The reasearch activities focused on the calibration of an econometric model to value if cultural heritage plays a role on real estate values.

The main output consists of:

  • the literature review;
  • a database which reports, at municipality level;
  • the hedonic models that show a significant and positive effect of the cultural heritage on the values of the real estate.

In the next months the research will analyse the spatial variability of the effect of the externalities of cultural heritages on real estate values.

Economic development in general, and urban growth in particular, may depend on a variety of factors. Among these, a particularly important role, considering their quantity and quality in the Italian context, is played by public architectural heritages, i.e. all the historic buildings (palaces, villas, manor-houses, cathedrals, historic villages and towns) which are able to qualify their spatial context. In fact, built cultural heritage represents the basis of relevant economic activities such as tourism, but also of building activities for maintenance, conservation and restoration.

Furthermore, architectural heritage is increasingly appreciated in society, as it is no longer considered only a tourism attraction, but an important component and a qualifying element of the identity of a neighbourhood or suburban area. Small municipalities too begin to devote greater attention to the restoration and maintenance of cultural heritage, which may be of minor interest if compared to the many magnificent monuments that can be found in Italy, but is very much appreciated at the local level. The increasing interest for these amenities gives us the opportunity to estimate their value, i.e. their capacity to improve the quality of the context they are located in.

The research aims primarily at testing the hedonic price approach for the valuation of externalities produced by architectural heritage. Furthermore it intends to estimate the economic value of the benefits produced by the architectural heritage amenities found in the Veneto Region. Finally it attempts to verify whether the impact of architectural heritage is evenly distributed or whether it has different patterns of impact on different local contexts.