Public Safety & Justice

More Trees Equals Less Crime

In Baltimore, a new study showed that a 10 percent increase in tree cover yielded at least a 12 percent decrease in crime.
by | July 2012

Want to reduce crime? Plant a tree. At least that’s according to a new study of neighborhoods in Baltimore, in which researchers from the University of Vermont mined geocoded crime data and overlaid it with high-res satellite images of Baltimore’s tree canopy. The study, published in the June issue of the journal Landscape and Urban Planning, showed that a 10 percent increase in tree cover yielded at least a 12 percent decrease in crime. The researchers controlled for socioeconomic factors, like the fact that wealthier neighborhoods tend to have leafier lanes. But the more-trees-less-crime relation still held. All of which raises the question: If Baltimore neighborhoods had more trees, would that have made The Wire really boring?

Zach Patton  |  Executive Editor
zpatton@governing.com  | 

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