Green Infrastructure Evidence Base

Social interaction

As discussed earlier, research by Kuo and others has shown that the presence of nature, including housing areas with trees and greenery, can enhance the physical and social health of individuals and communities, including reducing aggression and crime. It can increase feelings of safety, as well as reducing vandalism and littering (Coley et al., 1997; Kuo et al., 1998a; Herzog and Chernick, 2000; Kuo and Sullivan, 2001a; Kuo and Sullivan, 2001b; Kuo, 2003).The presence of vegetation, such as greenery and trees, has also been found to increase social interaction in urban neighbourhoods (Kuo et al., 1998). This does not necessarily imply a direct cause and effect between urban nature and human behaviour, but rather a consequence of enhanced social interaction opportunities in urban green spaces (Elmendorf, 2008).Trees and greenery increase the attractiveness of places for people, in turn promoting community socialization and passive surveillance, which can reduce crime and increase personal safety (Coley et al., 1997; Kuo and Sullivan, 2001b; Kuo, 2003).