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Harvest Lower Crime Rates with Urban Farming

Urban farmers make the most of the space they have, backyards, dis-used and derelict spaces, on porches, rooftops and balconies. Maximizing with multilayer planting on self-constructed terraces or by using the ground in innovative ways. Respect for these new green spaces increases the personal investment of people in the communities they live in and improves the overall safety of everyone.

Photo of Kenneth Walton
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In some places where vacant lots had previously been hiding places for guns, researchers have seen in a study released late that, "People just became more in touch with their neighbors after reclaiming land for urban farming. People felt more connected to each other." Calls from neighbors complaining of nuisance crimes—acts like loitering or public urination or excessive noise—went up significantly in the immediate vicinity of the newly greened land. At first, residents worried the land had attracted ne'er-do-wells, but what they came to realize is that it had emboldened neighbors to call the police for minor disturbances, something they hadn't done in the past. 

Explain your idea in one sentence.

Urban framing make people more aware of their communities and the people in it, and makes a safer place to live and work.

What is the need you are trying to solve?

Repurpose existing unsafe urban spaces with new programmed uses that are better for community safety.

Who will benefit from this idea and how would you monitor its success?

The environment and anyone living in an area where abandon and not cared for spaces have become an invitation to crime.

Who would be best equipped to implement this idea in the real world? You? Your organisation? Another organisation or entity?

I think local community group that feel ownership for the land are the best people to carryout this idea.

Where should this idea be implemented?

Anyone living in an area where abandon and not cared for spaces invite crime.

How might you prototype this idea and test some of the assumptions behind it?

The USDA and other have done some research on the subject, the time it would take to build a mini garden would be prohibitive


Join the conversation:

Photo of Ashwin Gopi

This is a very interesting take on the broken window theory. I like how "reclaiming" also has implications for ownership and responsibility. It is also a great opportunity for employment for women in urban areas! In the case of India, I believe that the best type of garden would be for flowers. People buy flowers almost everyday, either for wearing or for offerings in temples. It is sold almost exclusively by women who either go door to door or sell outside temples or vegetable markets. It also employs many generation of women. For example, the mother goes to the market to buy flowers in bulk, the grandmother stays at home sewing them into little garlands, and taking care of the daughter, who in the evenings, accompanies her mother to sell the flowers. I can imagine an imitative where unused land is reclaimed as a flower garden, but it "owned" by a few. This reduces the cost for the supply, makes the neighborhood look better, and more importantly, signifies responsibility, ownership and independence for women.

Photo of Kenneth Walton

Thank You
Great comment Ashwin,

Photo of Matthew Page

This serves a two-fold purpose in a community. It can tie the community together in new ways and build a stable source of income or food in areas where typically they do not receive enough. Whether the community grows flowers or produce is going to largely depend upon the community and their specific needs. In urban United States I could see a produce garden with a small stand to sell extra's as well as community boxes set aside for those who participate in the garden working very well. In a larger plot the community could even look into aquaculture to raise fish and produce natural fertilizers as well as additional food.

Photo of DeletedUser


I think is an interesting idea. From reading some of the other research it is clear i some areas one of the issues comes from people moving from rural areas and having to deal with the shock of large urban areas. This would be a great way to help those people connect with each other and acclimate to the new area. On top of that it turns what would be empty and run-down lots into places people take pride in. A great idea that also has an impact on a sustainable future.