With Earth Day this Saturday, Michigan State University researcher and urban geographer Rick Sadler is available to talk about how urban greening programs can positively impact crime rates in poorer neighborhoods.
His new study, which is the most comprehensive research to date and took place in Flint, Michigan, found that maintaining the yards of vacant properties with the help of community groups reduced crime rates in these urban neighborhoods.
“It’s people looking out for their own neighborhoods,” he said. “If you know somebody’s watching, you’re not going to go out and vandalize something. It’s the overall change in perception created by cleaning up blighted property.”
The data offers up more in-depth proof that less expensive urban greening programs can really pay off in a number of ways, especially during a time when federal budget cuts are looming.