Non-market value of Singapore’s ABC Waters Program
Water sensitive urban design is being done in many countries. In Singapore, the Active, Beautiful, Clean (ABC) Waters Programme is a long-term strategic initiative of PUB, Singapore's National Water Agency, to improve the quality of water and urban liveability. While there are some estimates of the bio-physical and ecological benefits of the ABC Waters Programme, information on its social or non-market values is lacking. Using choice experiment datasets this study explores whether people express preferences for ABC Waters features. It also examines whether there is any difference in preferences between respondents living in developments with and without ABC Waters certification, and between respondents living in public and private housing. It is found that respondents living in private housing have substantially higher willingness to pay for ABC Waters features compared to the respondents in public housing. The differences between respondents from certified and non-certified projects were found to be mixed. Such information would be useful to tailor the design of the ABC Waters program. Finally, the potential impact of using a virtual reality tool to present information in a choice experiment towards people's preferences is explored. Application of a virtual reality tool has reduced the proportion of protest voters and increased people's willingness to pay for ABC Waters projects. Thus, this paper contributes to the growing literature on the implications of providing information visually in non-market valuation surveys.