Garden News Blog

Another Reason to Green the City

Greenest Block in Brooklyn 2011
Greenest Block in Brooklyn 2011 finalist at 8th Street between 8th Avenue and Prospect Park West.

We all know that city trees clean and cool the air and just make the neighborhood prettier. Now, a new study suggests they also deter crime. Using satellite images and a crime data base, researchers compared tree canopy to rates of crimes like thefts and shootings across Baltimore and found that a 10 percent increase in tree cover was correlated to a 12 percent drop in crime, even after controlling for such factors as income level and population density. A Philadelphia-based effort found a similar relationship. There, weedy, trash-strewn vacant lots are cleared, planted with trees and grass, and then mowed and maintained regularly, which has resulted in reports of safer streets from residents and a documented increase in neighborhood property values. The upshot? Incorporating well-tended trees and green space into a cityscape makes it a better place to live in a myriad of ways.

Just one more reason to join the urban greening movement by entering Greenbridge’s Greenest Block in Brooklyn Contest, applying to become a Brooklyn Urban Gardener, or checking out BBG’s summer exhibit, Urban Garden.

Sarah Schmidt edits BBG's Garden News Blog and the Guides for a Greener Planet handbook series.
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