Recreational opportunities and amenities are important human-use services generated by urban open spaces. However, empirical evidence on the magnitude of monetary values of these services is hardly available, in fact, anecdotal if any, in developing countries. In this research, using contingent valuation methods (CVM), we estimated the recreational value of developing an urban park in Kampala city. Our CVM scenario involved the development of the Nakivubo wetland from its current degraded state into an urban park to provide a new outdoor recreation alternative. We applied Bayesian approaches with informative prior to a single-bounded-CVM survey response to obtain a more precise willingness to pay (WTP) estimate. Results from our preferred model showed that the average WTP was estimated to be USH14184.538 ($4.728) per household as an entry fee. This estimate was similar to WTP estimates obtained from alternative models in the sense that the latter lie within 95% confidence intervals of the former. Our results generally confirm that there is a statistically significant welfare benefit to be derived from urban parks, lending supports to the commonly held view that the provision of urban open spaces in cities of developing countries offers significant welfare benefit to the city residents.
• We estimated the recreational value of developing an urban park in Kampala, Uganda.
• We used the Bayesian contingent valuation method to estimate willingness to pay (WTP).
• Results indicated that Kampala residents were willing to pay $4.728 per household as an entry fee to use the park.
• Household income, entry fee, respondent’s age, and education were determinants of WTP.