How Trees Fight (And Enable) Crime

May 31 2012 @ 8:48am

Not like this:

More like this:

[According to a study in Baltimore,] a 10 percent increase in trees roughly equaled a 12 percent decrease in crime. … [P]eople enjoy spending time in pleasant outdoor spaces, which creates more "eyes on the streets" to deter criminals from doing bad things. By this way of thinking – which is similar to Malcolm Gladwell’s favorite school of criminology, "the broken window theory" – a well-tended bunch of trees sends a warning to would-be-robbers that stoop-sitters and dog-walkers are watching.

Other studies differ:

2001 case study of auto thieves in Washington, D.C., found that offenders often target areas near dense vegetation because it can "reduce effort and risk by offering concealment."