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Effects of greening and community reuse of vacant lots on crime

October 2015

Michelle Kondo, Bernadette Hohl, SeungHoon Han, Charles Branas


The Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corporation conducted a difference-in-differences analysis of the effects of a greening program on crime. Two types of vacant lot treatments were tested. Significant reductions in all crime classes were found for at least one lot treatment type. Spillover crime reduction effects were found to in the surrounding neighborhoods of newly greened lots.

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Policy Implications

The findings demonstrate evidence that the greening of vacant lots can reduce crime in neighborhoods. As cities make efforts to stabilize communities and reduce blight, policies and programs that support vacant lot reuse could be an effective solution.

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