June 21, 2012
Greener neighborhoods are safer. Contrary to popular belief, trees and neighborhood greenery are linked to lower rates of crime. Confirming the findings of past research, recent studies out of Philadelphia and Baltimore have found greater drops in gun violence and crime rates in neighborhoods with more trees. Your work planting trees has a significant impact on the safety of your communities, and there is empirical data to support your urban forestry efforts.
Growing Safer Communities: More Trees, Less Crime Resource List
Dr. Charles Branas, Associate Professor of Epidemiology, University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, PA)
Dr. Branas’ epidemiology work incorporates human geography and spatial interactions, and in Philadelphia investigated the effects of greening vacant space on the health and safety of neighborhood residents. A difference-in-differences analysis found that greening vacant lots in Philadelphia was associated with consistent reductions in gun assaults across all areas studied.
Bob Grossmann, Director of Philadelphia Green, Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (Philadelphia, PA)
The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society and its Philadelphia Green program have been working to green private and public vacant lots with grass and trees for over a decade. This community-based vacant land maintenance program has enhanced walkability and safety in dozens of Philadelphia neighborhoods.
Dr. Austin Troy, Associate Professor, University of Vermont Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources (Burlington, VT)
Dr. Troy is co-principal investigator for the Baltimore Ecosystem Study, a long-term ecological research project processing and analyzing large amounts of geo-spatial and socio-economic data. Among other topics, the Study examines impacts of urban vegetation and landscaping on Baltimore neighborhood conditions, property values and crime.
Webcast attendees will learn about:
* Scientific methods of relating crime to canopy cover
* Community and crime impacts of greening vacant lots
* Relationships between canopy and gun violence
* Enhancing neighborhood pride and vigilance through landscaping
* Making the “safer communities” case for trees
About the Webcast Series
The Webcast Series is the Alliance for Community Trees’ monthly webcast series held at the lunch hour. The goal is to create informal training opportunities for local urban and community forestry organizations. The content is geared to mainly serve the needs of volunteer organizations and community groups, although webcasts are open to all.
The trainings leverage local successes by amplifying to a larger audience the model organizations’ methods, materials, and approaches. Sessions are planned to last no more than one hour, with two presenters speaking on the same topic from slightly different perspectives, each for 10-15 minutes, followed by 10-15 minutes of questions and answers.
CEU Approved: 0 Hour
CFE Category 2 Approved: 0 Hour