I have long wanted to get a handle on the value of Merri Creek, as a way of arguing for more investment in the Creek and its parklands. There are many aspects to its value of course, value for habitat, value for users, value for neighbours...
One way to measure value is through property value. I believe there is a premium on real-estate near Merri Creek, and want to get an idea of what that premium is. And how far from Merri Creek is the value felt? I have often been boggled by for-sale signs that boast "Near to Merri Creek", even if the property isn't what I would call near. But what would I know? Real Estate agents must have a pretty good idea how close to Merri Creek a property has to be to make it worth putting this on a sign.
I suppose I could ring around real estate agents in the vicinity and ask them... and perhaps I will do this. But I will write about that in another article if I do.
Another way would be to build up a map of real estate signs which mention Merri Creek, and then create a histogram of their distance to the Creek. I like maps, and started creating a map, and asked a few friends to look out for for sales signs as well, but it took me a couple of days to find 3 for-sale signs to map. That would be a bit of a slow slog. A kind friend showed me realestate.com.au and how it can map past sales and look at the property descriptions. But from there I discovered if I added the keyword "Merri", my work was done for me.
Maps courtesy realestate.com.au and google.
As you can see from these maps, the zone in which real-estate signs refer to "Merri" extends to about 1.3km from the Merri Creek Parklands. And this is the case north as far as Campbellfield and Thomastown. From there on up there isn't much open space along the Creek at this stage, so it is not surprising that it hasn't been seen as an attraction. You can do the same thing for major tributaries of Merri Creek, such as Edgars Creek, and a similar pattern emerges. At some point I will estimate how many residences and how many residents are within that zone. But not today.