A new body of evidence reflects how urban nature affects crime.
The field of research is still young, but recent studies found significant associations between green space maintenance and certain types of crime in Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Youngstown, Ohio. The exact mechanism is not yet known, but one theory relates to Jane Jacobs’ notion of “eyes on the street”: well-kept lawns and community plots encourage more people to spend time outside in those spaces, leading to a greater degree of informal surveillance of the area and deterring crime.
This research gives cities reasons to reassess policies about cleaning and greening vacant lots, developing parks, or catching stormwater in green installations. Beyond the ecological and aesthetic benefits, these investments create a safer environment for the people who live nearby. Click here for the full story.