Gun Violence Can Be Reduced By Clearing Vacant Lots, Study Finds

A new Philadelphia study, financed by the National Institutes of Health, finds evidence for a gun-violence remedy few would argue with: clearing trash and debris from vacant lots.

Researchers selected 541 blighted parcels to receive one of three treatments from the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society: a full-scale makeover with grading, planting, and fencing; a basic intervention with just clearing and mowing; and no treatment at all. When study authors analyzed crime rates in the areas surrounding these lots for 18 months before and after treatment, they found that both kinds of “greening” appeared to reduce gun assaults, burglaries, and overall crime.

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