When we are looking for neighborhoods to live in, one trait that draws us immediately into an area is how many trees it has. Trees create an immediately welcoming aesthetic that makes it easier to imagine starting a life and raising a family in an area. For this reason, urban development plans often specify ways to increase the amount of “green space” that is able to fit within an area. Here are a few effects that putting trees in a neighborhood has…
Reduction in crime
One misconception by city planners for a longtime is that greenery, such as trees and shrubs, would increase crime rates in areas where the rate was already high. The thinking of this mindset was that trees and similar greenery would create natural hiding places for criminals that would make it harder for law enforcement to do their jobs. However, the reality is quite the opposite. For example, according to a study published in Landscape and Urban Planning, every 10% increase in the amount of trees in a neighborhood was directly correlated with a 12% decrease in crime rates.
Increases in trees and other greenery have been shown to have a positive impact on people’s mental health. Even spending time in more natural settings has been shown to reduce the effects of anxiety and depression, according to a study by the Green Heart Project. In addition, green spaces encourage outdoor activity, which improves the physical and cardiovascular health of residents in a neighborhood, as well.
Improved air quality
Obviously, trees and vegetation increase the overall air quality of an area by processing the high levels of carbon dioxide that are found in an area. By increasing the air quality, trees in a neighborhood can improve lower the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and obesity, which are all high causes of death in the United States.