Fear of Rural / Vegetation Filled Environments Essay

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fear of rural / vegetation filled environments associating their privacy and wild confinement with the possibility that crime may more likely occur in these habitats. park authorities, universities, and municipalities, for instance, across North America actively remove shrubbery and vegetation that is thought to conceal and facilitate crime, whilst people fear densely vegetates areas for the same reason. At least two empirical studies, however, indicate that not only does vegetative areas not engender crime but they may also facilitate decrease of crime.

The researchers proposed that certain regions of vegetation do not generate crime and may in fact even hinder it. The environment that the researchers had in mind were widely spaced, high-canopied trees and other visibility-preserving forms of vegetation. These not only do not promote crime but also hinder it.

Their question in fact was whether crime does occur more often in urban settings than in vegetation-marked settings, whether the reverse is the case, or whether there is no difference in the characteristics of neighborhood to induce generation of crime.

Their second hypotheses was that in some setting, a certain kind of vegetation (visibility-preserving) may in fact actually deter crime. If this were the case, rather than removing the vegetation as is often done to fear of crime, it may be more contributive to introduce more of this vegetation into urban neighborhoods particularly inner-city neighborhoods.

Vegetation, the researchers proposed, can prevent crime in three ways: by increasing the residents' surveillance, since apparently people accord more surveillance in vegetative areas; by increasing the implied surveillance and thereby deterring crime;a nd, via the restorative effect of the vegetation, by reducing mental fatigue of the residents making hem less susceptible to crime.

Describe the design of the study

I would describe this as a quasi-experiment since a convenient plot was chosen -- an inner-city plot that offered the required conditions of both vegetation and non-vegetation areas on the same matched population. Moreover, the researcher also decided which of the apartment buildings they would investigate in this study, and which they would ignore. Ultimately, they selected 98 buildings that met their criteria. It was therefore, not a true experiment in that no random sampling occurred regarding selection of neighborhood.

However, there are components of this study that warrant it to be indirectly called a true experimental study in that residents themselves were initially randomly assigned to different levels of vegetation by the Housing Board..

The fact that multiple measures were used ( that included the crime reports, closely measuring and assessing the vegetation, as well as carefully photographing and rating slides in order to ensure elimination of bias, in conjunction with attempting to eliminate other variables that may induce clouding) point to this being a quasi-experiment rather than a non-experimental study (Research methods knowledge base. ).

Identify an operational definition used by the researchers.

The authors clearly and closely defined the kind of neighborhood that they had in mind. To them it was to one of dense vegetation whose definition they spelled out but rather:

" A well-maintained grassy area [with].. widely spaced, high-canopy trees have minimal effect on visibility; and flowers and low-growing shrubs ... To wit, we propose that widely spaced, high-canopy trees and other visibility-preserving forms of vegetation do not promote crime." (345)

Later on, the authors also distinguished between different types of crime dividing them into categories of less serious and more significant and providing examples of each.

Provide one example of inductive logic and one example of deductive logic presented in the results

An example of inductive logic is that researchers theorized that "If vegetation reduces crime, then we would expect to find that the greener a building's surroundings are, the fewer crimes reported." (335). This was indeed the case. Moreover:

Analyses revealed consistent, systematically negative relationships between the density of trees and grass around the buildings and the number of crimes per building reported to the police. The greener a building's surroundings are, the fewer total crimes; moreover, this relationship extended to both property crimes and violent crimes. (360).

The deductive conclusion naturally would be that environmental engineers would be recommended to introduce more vegetation, following a certain style, in poor inner-city neighborhoods. And this is what researcher conclude: "These findings suggest that at the very least, crime prevention concerns do not justify removing high-canopy vegetation in inner-city neighborhoods" (357) and they later add that "The work presented here suggests the exciting possibility that in barren inner-city neighborhoods, planting a few trees may work to inhibit crime, creating safer neighborhoods for poor families and their children. ' (364)

Identify whether the research study is a quantitative of qualitative design. Explain your answer

The research study was a quantitative study conducted according to statistical data and empirical analysis. Ordinary least-square Regressions, for instance, were conducted on the premise that the greener the plot, the fewer the crimes committed. Researcher also used a Cuthbert plot analysis which showed further evidence of the predictive power of vegetation.

Moreover, the fact that multiple measures were used ( that included the crime reports, closely measuring and assessing the vegetation, as well as carefully photographing and rating slides in order to ensure elimination of bias, in conjugation with attempting to eliminate other variables that may induce clouding) also point to this being a quantitative rather than a qualitative study

Identify the methodology, population, sampling methods, and return rate if applicable.

Researchers selected a large public housing project in Chicago that provides housing for approximately 5, 700 people, 65% of whom are female, 97% are African- American was chosen as location to study. 44% of the sampled population were children younger than 14 years old . The housing complex - Ida B. Wells - is one of the 12 poorest neighborhoods in the United States and approximately 93% of the people living at Wells, during the times of this study, were officially unemployed, whilst roughly 50% of the families received Aid to Families with Dependent Children .

The housing complex was superb for this study since it possessed varying rates of vegetation. Certain buildings were excluded from the sample e.g. those that were near the police vicinity and high-rise or very low buildings in order to keep the buildings sampled as homogeneous as possible and to see whether any differences existed between those that had vegetation and those that lacked vegetation. The characteristics of the residents were homogeneous int terms of that which usually inspires crime e.g. education, income, and life circumstances. This made it more objective to see whether differences in rate of crime existed ins studied population.

Two years of year-end Crime Reports of the Chicago Police departments were studied in relation to crimes that occurred during those 2 years on the development. Researchers created 3 summary variables indexing the category of crimes that occurred on the development.

Four additional variables possibly related to crime and the amount of vegetations were accessed (a) via on-site analysis, (b) Chicago Housing Authority floor types of each building, © Chicago Housing Authority apartment vacancy records.

The researchers also took dozens of 35 mm photographs to assess the density and type of vegetation around each building. Photographs were taken in June at height of Spring. Raters reviewed the slides on a five-point scale and averaged them

More people in a setting may instigate more crime. To control for that factor and to assess whether vegetation still predicted less crime, researchers conducted a series of multiple regressions in which factors of both units of apartments and vegetation were entered. Results stayed the same.

In order to ensure that no other confounding data entered the picture, Regressions were also conducted for other possible confounding variables such as vacancy rate, building height, and the number of occupied buildings. Results stayed the same.. What were the finding of the study.

The authors concluded that vegetation accounts for 7% to 8% of variance in the number of crimes committed per building. They found that contrary to expectations and to popular assumption that rural environment breed crime, on the contrary, buildings with high-level vegetations had 52% fewer total crimes than those with low or negligible vegetation. The pattern, moreover, held for both property crimes and violent crimes. There was a consistent negative association between the amount of vegetation and crimes committed in the region, and so, in other words, the more vegetation, the less crime perpetrated. The authors were also certain that the declension in crime was due to the influence of vegetation since they had eliminated as many potential predictors of crime as possible.

Describe the authors conclusions and recommendations.

The authors conclusion therefore were that the more vegetation the less possibility of crime occurrence ands the safer the neighborhood is. They therefore recommend that "at the very least, crime prevention concerns do not justify removing high-canopy vegetation in inner-city neighborhoods" (357) and they later added that "The work presented here suggests the exciting possibility that in barren inner-city neighborhoods, planting a few trees may work to inhibit crime,…[continue]

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