Cost-benefit analysis workshop
Time: 23 April 2014
Place: City of Helsinki Environment Centre, Helsinki, Finland
A cost-benefit analysis (CBA) study of municipal water protection measures is under work by CITYWATER / the City of Helsinki. The aim of the workshop was to present the preliminary results and get ideas how to improve the study and how to use the results. The program of the day included e.g. two interesting lectures of cost-benefit analysis and economic valuation of environmental benefits. A total of 25 people from Helsinki, Tallinn, Liepaja, Turku and Lahti participated in the workshop.
The workshop was opened by the head of environmental protection at the City of Helsinki, Päivi Kippo-Edlund (picture above). Her speech was followed by brief introductions to the CITYWATER project and the CITYWATER cost-benefit analysis. Representatives of the case studies from Liepaja waste water treatment plant (WWTP), Port of Helsinki, City of Lahti and City of Turku also gave brief presentations about their water protection actions.
The morning session provided also two very interesting lectures: firstly, university lecturer Chiara Lombardini (picture below to the left) told about the cost-benefit analysis method and why it is useful for municipalities, and research scientist Heini Ahtiainen (picture below to the right) told about how the environmental impact can be evaluated in monetary terms and why it is needed.
In the afternoon session, the CITYWATER project expert Eliisa Punttila presented the preliminary results of the study (picture below). Her presentation was followed by comments on the study by professor Kari Hyytiäinen and environmental planner Petteri Huuska, and group discussions with the aim of getting ideas of how to use the study results.
At the end of the day it could be concluded that the information that municipalities would need is in line with what the CBA could provide. The CBA was regarded as a potential tool for municipalities to improve water protection work, because it provides different kinds of information and has a long-term perspective. The cost-benefit analysis is, however, a very new method and probably challenging too, and municipalities should have more knowledge about it before wider use.