Summary of “Can parks help cities fight crime?”

Similar relationships between green space and crime have been observed in Baltimore, Chicago, Philadelphia and Portland, as well as in cities outside the U.S. In many cities people see parks as dangerous – magnets for illicit activities like drug dealing and places for criminals to access potential victims who, while engaged in recreation, may be less vigilant about their belongings and personal safety.
One 2015 study of multiple U.S. cities found that property crime rates are two to four times higher in neighborhoods near parks.
So do parks make cities safer or more dangerous? The short answer is: It depends on the park.
In an effort to identify nationwide trends, our team of researchers at Clemson and North Carolina State universities in 2017 began gathering information on crime, green space and parks in the 300 largest cities in the United States.
To distinguish the impact of green spaces from social factors typically linked to crime – population density, income, education, diversity and social disadvantage – we controlled for those factors when evaluating crime data.
In Chicago, Detroit and Newark – all places with notoriously high and stubborn crime rates – more green space was associated with higher levels of violent crime.
Examining four cities in different U.S. regions – Austin, Philadelphia, Phoenix and San Francisco – we found that violent crime was 28% to 64% higher in neighborhoods adjacent to parks than in neighborhoods located a mile from the same parks.
When parks are allowed to deteriorate, the decaying infrastructure and bad reputation of parks can turn them into magnets for crime.

The orginal article.