Vacant Lot Greening and Community Safety

A Summary of Existing Evidence

Author(s): Center for Community Progress, Michigan Youth Violence Prevention Center at the University of Michigan School of Public Health

Greening vacant lots by mowing, landscaping, or repurposing them for community needs (e.g., gardens, parks) can reduce violent crime and improve community safety.

Maintaining and greening vacant lots helps create safer, more connected neighborhoods by improving property conditions and creating positive community spaces. Engaging residents in vacant lot greening activities can support community safety benefits by indicating residents are committed to looking out for their neighborhood and by increasing overall positive neighborhood activity.

Researchers have studied different approaches to maintaining and greening vacant lots and found that they were associated with decreases in violent crime. This fact sheet summarizes key takeaways from recent studies exploring the community safety benefits associated with five common greening strategies:

  • Land Bank Ownership
  • Professional Mowing
  • Community-Engaged Mowing
  • Professional Landscaping
  • Community-Engaged Vacant Lot Reuse

Madison Gharghoury, Development Associate and Special Assistant to the President/CEO

Published: November 2022

Geography: , ,

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