Saturday, July 26, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Study: Fight crime by building gardens

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:

Study: Fight crime by building gardens

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.

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Every year, city government spends slightly more than $4 billion. Where does all that money come from? More importantly, where does it go? Are we getting the most bang for our tax buck? “It's Our Money” is a joint project between Philadelphia Daily News and WHYY, funded by the William Penn Foundation, designed to answer these questions.

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