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Canopy and Crime. A study conducted by. Frances E. Kuo. Natural Resources & Environmental Sciences University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. With funding from. The Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture The USDA Forest Service

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Presentation Transcript
slide2

A study conducted by

Frances E. Kuo

Natural Resources & Environmental Sciences

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

slide3

With funding from

  • The Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture
  • The USDA Forest Service

Urban and Community Forestry Program

on the recommendation of the National Urban and Community Forestry Advisory Council

slide5

Take home message

The more vegetation outside a residence, the lower its crime rate.

slide6

Presentation outline

  • Why Study Canopy and Crime?
  • The Approach
  • The Findings
  • So What?
slide15

Such green spaces might inhibit crime because they

  • bring people together outdoors
  • lessen mental fatigue, irritability, and

impulsiveness

slide19

The Ida B. Wells development in Chicago was chosen as the research site because

  • buildings and amount of outdoor common

space are similar; only vegetation quantity

differs

slide20

The Ida B. Wells development in Chicago was chosen as the research site because

  • buildings and amount of outdoor common

space are similar; only vegetation quantity

differs

  • vegetation does not block views
slide21

Characteristics of the residents here were important too.

  • They are randomly assigned to these

buildings.

slide22

Characteristics of the residents here were important too.

  • They are randomly assigned to these

buildings.

  • They are similar in personal characteristics.
slide23

Method

  • Police reports from 98 buildings were

collected.

slide24

Method

  • Police reports from 98 buildings were

collected.

  • Building common areas were rated for

quantity of vegetation.

slide25

Measuring quantity of common space vegetation

Common space with a low level of vegetation

Common space with a high level of vegetation

slide26

Method

  • Police reports from 98 buildings were

collected.

  • Building common areas were rated for

quantity of vegetation.

  • The relationship between quantity of

vegetation and crime rate was analyzed.

slide28

Buildings with more vegetation had fewer property crimes

8

7

6

# of property crimes

5

4

3

2

1

0

Low

Medium

High

Quantity of vegetation

slide29

Buildings with more vegetation had fewer violent crimes

8

7

6

# of violent crimes

5

4

3

2

1

0

Low

Medium

High

Quantity of vegetation

Canopy and Crime

slide30

Buildings with more vegetation had fewer crimes overall

8

7

6

# of crimes overall

5

4

3

2

1

0

Low

Medium

High

Quantity of vegetation

slide32

The more vegetation a building had, the fewer crimes – fewer property crimes, fewer violent crimes, and fewer crimes overall.

slide33

Common areas with high-canopy trees and grass:

  • are gathering spaces for neighbors
slide34

Common areas with high-canopy trees and grass:

  • are gathering spaces for neighbors
  • can foster states of mind that are less prone to

violence

slide38

Suggestions for urban property owners, planners, policy makers, and developers:

  • think twice before removing trees or

vegetation for security reasons

slide39

Suggestions for urban property owners, planners, policy makers, and developers:

  • think twice before removing trees or

vegetation for security reasons

  • landscape buildings with vegetation that does

not block views

slide40

Suggestions for urban property owners, planners, policy makers, and developers:

  • think twice before removing trees or

vegetation for security reasons

  • landscape buildings with vegetation that does

not block views

  • maintain vegetation to preserve visibility
slide44

To share this information with others:

• Copies of this presentation and other, written materials for nonscientific audiences may be obtained at <www.lhhl.uiuc.edu>

• To quote this information in print, please consult the original scientific journal article:

Kuo, F.E., & Sullivan, W.C. (2001). Environment and crime in the inner city: Does vegetation reduce crime? Environment & Behavior, 33, 343-367.

Available at www.lhhl.uiuc.edu

slide45

To learn more:

On details of the original study

Kuo, F.E., Sullivan, W.C. (2001). Environment and crime in the inner city: Does vegetation reduce crime? Environment & Behavior, 33, 343-367.

On problems with dense vegetation

Fisher, B.S., Nasar, J.L. (1992). Fear of crime in relation to three exterior site features: Prospect, refuge, and escape. Environment & Behavior, 24, 35-65.

Michael, S.N., Hull, R.B. (1994). Effects of vegetation on crime in urban parks. Blacksburg: Virginia Polytechnic Institute, Department of Forestry.

Schroeder, H.W., Anderson, L.M. (1984). Perception of personal safety in urban recreation sites. Journal of Leisure Research, 16, 178-194.

Talbot, J., Kaplan, R. (1984). Needs and fears: the response to trees and nature in the inner city. Journal of Arboriculture, 10, 222-228.

slide46

To learn more:

On tree removal policies to decrease crime

Pluncknett, T.F.T. (1960). Edward I and criminal law. Cambridge University Press.

Weisel, D.L., Gouvis, C., Harrell, A.V. (1994). Addressing community decay and crime: Alternative approaches and explanations. Washington, DC: The Urban Institute.

On vegetation and decreased incivilities

Brunson, L.B., Kuo, F.E., Sullivan, W.C. (2001). Resident appropriation of defensible space in public housing: Implications for safety and community. Environment & Behavior, 33, 626-652.

Stamen, T. (1993). Graffiti deterrent proposed by horticulturalist [press release]. Riverside: University of California, Riverside.

slide47

To learn more:

On vegetation and increased surveillance

Coley, R.L., Kuo, F.E., Sullivan, W.C. (1997). Where does community grow? The social context created by nature in urban public housing. Environment & Behavior, 29, 468-492.

Kuo, F.E., Sullivan, W.C., Coley, R.L., Brunson, L. (1998). Fertile ground for community: Inner-city neighborhood common spaces. American Journal of Community Psychology, 26, 823-851.

On mental fatigue and violence

Kaplan, S. (1987). Mental fatigue and the designed environment. In J. Harvey & D. Henning (Eds.), Public environments (pp. 55-60). Washington, DC: Environmental Design Research Association.

Kuo, F.E., & Sullivan, W.C. (2001). Aggression and violence in the inner city: Impacts of environment via mental fatigue. Environment & Behavior, 33, 543-571.

slide48

To learn more:

On vegetation and mental fatigue

Cimprich, B. (1993). Development of an intervention to restore attention in cancer patients. Cancer Nursing, 16, 83-92.

Hartig, T., Mang, M., Evans, G.W. (1991). Restorative effects of natural environment experiences. Environment & Behavior, 23, 3-26.

Kaplan, R. (1984). Wilderness perception and psychological benefits: An analysis of a continuing program. Leisure Sciences, 6, 271-290.

Lohr, V.I., Pearson-Mimms, C.H., Goodwin, G.K. (1996). Interior plants may improve worker productivity and reduce stress in a windowless environment. Journal of Environmental Horticulture, 14, 97-100.

Miles, I., Sullivan, W.C., Kuo, F.E. (1998). Prairie restoration volunteers: The benefits of participation. Urban Ecosystems, 2, 27-41.

Tennessen, C., Cimprich, B. (1995). Views to nature: Effects on attention: Journal of Environmental Psychology, 15, 77-85.

slide49

Other questions?

Contact Frances E. Kuo, Ph.D. ([email protected])

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Landscape and Human Health Laboratory

1103 S. Dorner Drive, MC-636

Urbana IL 61801

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