The contrast to violence and vandalism is also done with the maintenance of green, which is so important not only for the health and well-being of those who live in the city, but also embraces the issue of safety, or at least its perception. This is the result of a recently published American research, which particularly involved the "abandoned" areas of Philadelphia.
In the United States, the "vacant lots", the brownfields within the urban perimeter, is a numerically significant problem, considering that - according to the numbers cited in the study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences - they represent 15 % of American city surfaces (an extension equal to that of Switzerland).
The research involved some abandoned randomly chosen areas, which the residents had indicated as a major threat to their health and safety due to the frequent criminal events they were in.
The areas were first cleaned and then put green: lawns were planted, small trees planted to create new parks, installed fences. So the areas have been regularly maintained to take care of the newly created gardens.
In the 18 months of study, after the "greening" interventions on the disused areas, the perception of crime and vandalism by the inhabitants has decreased by almost 40%, while also the reports of the city police have highlighted a decrease in the main crimes, including thefts and shootings.
The research "Citywide cluster randomized trial to restore blighted vacant land and its effects on violence, crime and fear" signed by a group of scholars led by Charles C. Branas is available on www.pnas.org.