Communities that are engaged in cleaning, mowing and repurposing vacant spaces are likely to experience greater reductions in violence and crime than neighborhoods that do not participate in these activities, according to new research led by the University of Michigan.

These findings, based on a three-year study conducted by researchers at the U-M Institute for Firearm Injury Prevention and the Michigan Youth Violence Prevention Center in Youngstown, Ohio, were published this month in the American Journal of Community Psychology. With support from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, researchers studied Busy Streets Theory and the greening hypothesis, which suggest that engaging community residents in cleaning up and repurposing vacant lots can reduce crime and violence.

Read the full press release in Michigan News here