When it comes time for the city to decide where to spend its money, keeping things clean and pretty often sounds nice, but takes a back seat to more serious issues like public safety. Apparently, though, that's not a good way to think about things. Plan Philly reports:
The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society program that cleans and greens vacant land results in significant reductions in gun assaults across most of Philadelphia and fewer instances of vandalism in one section of the city, according to findings of a University of Pennsylvania study released online in the American Journal of Epidemiology this week.
Greening vacant land was also associated with residents reporting less stress and engaging in more exercise.
As crime deterrence strategies go, cleaning and greening is cheap, too. The authors of the study make clear that this isn't the "final word" on the matter, but it sure looks like cleaning and greening is a good use of money.