Mar. 25, 2013 — Contrary to convention, vegetation, when well-maintained, can lower the rates of certain types of crime, such as aggravated assault, robbery and burglary, in cities, according to a Temple University study, “Does vegetation encourage or suppress urban crime? Evidence from Philadelphia, PA,” published in the journal Landscape and Urban Planning.
“There is a longstanding principle, particularly in urban planning, that you don’t want a high level of vegetation, because it abets crime by either shielding the criminal activity or allowing the criminal to escape,” said Jeremy Mennis, associate professor of geographyand urban studies at Temple. “Well-maintained greenery, however, can have a suppressive effect on crime.”
After establishing controls for other key socioeconomic factors related to crime, such as poverty, educational attainment and population density, Mennis, along with environmental studies major Mary Wolfe, examined socioeconomic, crime and vegetation data, the latter from satellite imagery.
They found that the presence of grass, trees and shrubs is associated with lower crime rates in Philadelphia, particularly for robberies and assaults.
Read the full story at http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130325160522.htm Source: Temple University (2013, March 25). Urban vegetation deters crime in Philadelphia.