Evaluation of environmental actions by local citizens–a choice modeling application

Ma Helena Guimarães, Luis Catela Nunes, Ana Rodrigues, Lívia Madureira, Tomaz Dentinho

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Little is known about citizens’ judgment of nature conservation actions financed by public funds. The present work contributes to this topic with empirical evidence coming from a Choice Modeling (CM) study designed in an innovative mode. Using the participatory budget format, a CM exercise elicited respondents’ choice between the allocation of public funds for nature conservation actions versus other actions (e.g. social or economic interventions). The case study comprises an EU-LIFE project managed by a Portuguese municipality. Results highlight the importance of awareness of and accessibility to environmental goods, as those that are more willing to pay use the area for leisure activities and have a greater knowledge about it. In addition, we suggest that CM can be used as a tool to uncover citizens’ preferences regarding public budget allocation which can contribute to a democratization of decision making at this level.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)698-714
JournalJournal of Environmental Planning and Management
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • choice modeling
  • EU-LIFE program
  • nature conservation
  • public budget allocation
  • public policy


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