Community Greening, Fear of Crime, and Mental Health Outcomes

Past studies have found that community programs promoting land maintenance in urban neighborhoods can reverse some of the effects that unmaintained land has on nearby residents, such as reduced mental and physical health, safety, and quality of life. Contributed to by PISC Senior Scholars Michelle Kondo, PhD, Bernadette Hohl, PhD, Eugenia Catarina South, MD, MSPH, and External Advisory board member Charles Branas, PhD, this study explored how land parcel maintenance is associated with mental health outcomes using data collected in Flint, MI in 2017-2018. It aggregated resident and parcel rating data to 463 street segments and compared three structural equation models (SEM), finding that poor maintenance predicted more fear of crime, which was associated with mental distress. These findings add to our understanding about the mechanism by which land improvements may enhance the psychological well-being of residents who live on streets with vacant and unkept lots.

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