Baltimore Ecosystem Study Institute of Ecosystem Studies

2010 BES Annual Meeting Presentation and Poster Abstracts

Environmental correlates of crime in Baltimore City and County
Troy, Austin
Co-Authors: Austin Troy, Ashley Lidman

Abstract: A growing literature is looking at how environmental amenities may influence crime levels. This research builds on a survey of front yards and a database of high resolution land cover to look at how the presence and maintenance level of trees, lawns, shrubs and other yard landscape features may influence or be associated with crime levels. It finds that certain aspects of more highly managed yards are associated with lower crime levels at the block group level although street trees are not. It finds mixed results in terms of the relationship between tree cover and block group level crime. It is possible that the relationship between yard management and crime may reflect the previously studied phenomenon that more highly managed landscapes deter criminals since they signal more "eyes on the street" and resident involvement in the neighborhood.