June 1, 2012
Researchers with the University of Vermont and the US Forest Service examined crime-mapping data and high-resolution tree canopy images for the Baltimore area and found that a 10% increase in tree cover was associated with a 12% decrease in crime. The negative correlation between crime and tree coverage still held up even after the researchers controlled for socio-economic factors (income, race, housing type, population density).
Research done by the University of Illinois reported similar conclusions. One study found that residents living in greener neighbourhoods reported “lower levels of fear, fewer incivilities and less aggressive and violent behaviour.”