Planting Gardens Can Reduce Crime

Image of garden with pave stone path

“In U.S. cities, about 15 percent of land sits unused, vacant or abandoned. These spaces are associated with increased crime and stress to residents, especially in low-income neighborhoods.”

“The researchers specifically chose interventions that were inexpensive, scalable and sustainable, such that one day they could be applied to other U.S. cities. The main intervention involved removing trash and debris from the lots, grading the land, planting grass and trees to create a park-like setting and installing a low wooden fence around the perimeter to signal that the lot was being cared for.”

Significant benefits were reported due to the greened lots, including a significant reduction in gun violence, burglaries and nuisances, with the latter two falling by 22 percent and 30 percent respectively.

Further, in neighborhoods below the poverty line, the transformed lots reduced overall crime by more than 13 percent and gun violence by nearly 30 percent.3 Residents also reported significant benefits, including feeling 58 percent less fearful of going outside due to safety concerns.

Sources: 

“Fight Crime With Gardens” by Dr. Mercola

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