Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Clean And Green Keeps Ken And Barbie Happy

An interesting story from USA this week:
"Neighbors (sic) feel safer with green empty lots"
A University of Pennsylvania study has found that clean green vacant lots make neighbourhoods feel safer and may be associated with reductions in certain gun crimes.
The theory is that turning empty sections from a space overgrown with vegetation and filled with rubbish, to a clean green space may make it difficult for people to hide illegal guns and conduct other illegal activities such as drug use in that area. Additionally, green space may encourage community cohesion.
The study randomly selected two clusters of vacant lot - one which was later greened, and one control cluster which was not. Nearby residents were interviewed before and after the greening. Results showed that residents living near the greened vacant lots felt significantly safer after 3mths compared to those near the control site. And total crime (as well as assaults with and without a gun) was less after the clean-up/green-up.
This study is part of an experimental, decade-long comparison of thousands of greened and non-greened vacant sites, and documented significant before/after reductions in gun assaults around vacant lots that were greened compared with those which were not. It provides statistical evidence needed by urban planners and city officials interested in greening as a strategy to prevent violence and encourage safety. A significantly larger randomised controlled trial examining hundreds of vacant lots is currently under way.
All good...but it's so far taken a DECADE to figure this out??!!

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