Title: Social Aspects of Urban Forestry: the Role of Arboriculture in a Healthy Social Ecology
Author: Kuo, Frances E.;
Source: Journal of Arboriculture 29(3):148-155
Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
Description: In urban communities, arboriculture clearly contributes to the health of the biological ecosystem; does it contribute to the health of the social ecosystem as well? Evidence from studies in inner-city Chicago suggests so. In a series of studies involving over 1,300 person-space observations, 400 interviews, housing authority records, and 2 years of police crime reports, tree and grass cover were systematically linked to a wide range of social ecosystem indicators. These indicators included stronger ties among neighbors, greater sense of safety and adjustment, more supervision of children in outdoor spaces, healthier patterns of children's play, more use of neighborhood common spaces, fewer incivilities, fewer property crimes, and fewer violent crimes. The link between arboriculture and a healthier social ecosystem turns out to be surprisingly simple to explain. In residential areas, barren, treeless spaces often become "no man's lands," which discourage resident interaction and invite crime. The presence of trees and well-maintained grass can transform these no man's lands into pleasant, welcoming, well-used spaces. Vital, well-used neighborhood common spaces serve to both strengthen ties among residents and deter crime, thereby creating healthier, safer neighborhoods.
Keywords: Social ecology, strength of community, crime, social benefits, residential
- We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
- This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
- This publication may be available in hard copy. Check the Northern Research Station web site to request a printed copy of this publication.
- Our on-line publications are scanned and captured using Adobe Acrobat. During the capture process some typographical errors may occur. Please contact Sharon Hobrla, firstname.lastname@example.org if you notice any errors which make this publication unusable.
XML: View XML
Kuo, Frances E. 2003. Social Aspects of Urban Forestry: the Role of Arboriculture in a Healthy Social Ecology. Journal of Arboriculture 29(3):148-155
Get the latest version of the Adobe Acrobat reader or Acrobat Reader for Windows with Search and Accessibility