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April 3 2013

Urban planners may cry “bring us a shrubbery” to deter crime

One school of thought has it that inner-city trees and shrubs make convenient hiding places and covered escape routes for criminals. Another, supported by an increasing body of evidence, argues that urban foliage may actually reduce crime. Where previous studies have tended to focus on individual housing blocks or, at best, neighborhoods, new research out of Temple University is among the first to examine the issue at the city-scale. TU researchers analyzed the relationship between vegetation concentration and crime for the whole of Philadelphia.

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