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Wednesday, 23rd November 2011

Growing Quality of Life: Urban Trees, Birth Weight, and Crime

Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture

From the description:

City dwellers can find many reasons to value neighborhood trees. The urban greenery provides relief from the built environment that many find appealing. In fact, a previous study found that a tree in front of a home increased that home's sales price by more than $7,000. Two new studies explore the measurable effects that urban trees and green spaces have a human health and crime rates. Geoffrey Donovan, a research forester with the Pacific Northwest Research Station, used public health data, crime statistics, tax records aerial photos and other information in the two studies. He found that women who live in houses with more trees are less likely to have underweight babies. The study on crime revealed a more complex relationship. Larger trees, including trees located near the street, are associated with a lower incidence of property crimes. Larger numbers of smaller trees -- especially trees planted near the home, which may provide a screen for burglars -- are associated with higher crime.

Cities within the Portland Metropolitan Area are using this information as they rewrite street tree regulations. Likewise, local crime prevention programs and tree planting advocates are sharing the findings with urban residents.

+ Direct link to full report (PDF; 3.34 MB)


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An Info Pro, librarian, entrepreneur, author, worldwide connector and book-lover, Heather Negley is recognized for her new ways of thinking about librarianship, research, social media and creativity. Heather is the founder of HelpALibrarian.com and Zing Information Services. She has most recently been an Information Research Specialist with the Congressional Research Service at the Library of Congress where she provided business research for members of Congress and their staffs. Heather also worked as a research reporter for U.S. News and World Report and as a technical advertising producer on the washingtonpost.com. She received her MS in Library and Information Science from Simmons College in Boston, MA.

Heather can be reached at heather.negley@freepint.com

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