September 24, 2009

Gardens impact crime perception

Community gardens are not linked to less neighborhood crime, but U.S. researchers found a change in crime perception.

The study, published in HortTechnology, found residents where community gardens grow see their neighborhoods as being safer.

A team of researchers from Texas State University at San Marcos and Texas A&M University at College Station interviewed citizens in the vicinity of 11 community gardens in Houston.

Property crimes -- using 2005 crime data from the Houston Police Department -- in the vicinity of community gardens were also tallied and mapped. Statistical comparisons were made between community garden areas and randomly selected city areas that were within a 1-mile area surrounding each garden.

Initial results indicated no statistically significant differences between the mean number of crimes in community garden areas and the mean number of crimes in randomly selected areas, T.M. Waliczek of Texas State said in a statement.