A new study shows that trees might protect our wealth and safety. A team of scientists from Temple University looked at crime rates in Philadelphia and found that areas with well-maintained landscaping have lower rates of certain types of crime, such as aggravated assault, robbery, and burglary.
The team, including Jeremy Mennis, associate professor of geography and urban studies, and environmental studies major Mary Wolfe looked at satellite imagery of Philadelphia and found that the presence of grass, trees and shrubs was associated with lower crime rates in those areas.
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The authors think that well-maintained green areas encourage social interaction and community pride in public spaces. Such landscaping could also have a calming affect that reduces psychological precursors to violent acts.
A study last year conducted by a different research team showed a similar result in Baltimore. Those scientists found that a 10 percent increase in trees correlated to about a 12 percent decrease in crime.