More Green, Less Crime

It goes without saying that a vacant lot looks a far sight better with abundant greenery than filled with trash and dirt. But, aesthetics aside, greened lots may also be better for the health of people living nearby.

At Fast Co Exist, Andrew Price points us to a new report from the University of Pennsylvania, which studied the health impacts of Philadelphia’s vacant lot greening program, launched in 1999 by the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society. Dr. Charles C. Branas, an associate professor of Epidemiology at the Perelman School of Medicine, wanted to see if greening vacant space had any effects on the health and safety of neighborhood residents. The results, published online in the American Journal of Epidemiology, showed that greening vacant lots was “associated with consistent reductions in gun assaults” across all of Philadelphia. In certain spots, the greened lots were tied to lower stress levels, reductions in vandalism, and higher rates of exercise.

Whatever the precise reason for the positive effects, it supports the rationale for making neglected urban spaces cleaner and greener. Who knows? It may just save lives.

(via Fast Company)

Photo via Pennsylvania Horticultural Society

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