Impact of Green Infrastructure Projects on Perception of Safety in a Neighborhood

Authors: Sanaz Chamanara*, University of Michigan
Topics: Environmental Perception
Keywords: Green Infrastructure, Neighborhood, Perception of Safety, Observation of Crime, Detroit
Session Type: Poster
Day: 4/12/2018
Start / End Time: 1:20 PM / 3:00 PM
Room: Napoleon Foyer/Common St. Corridor, Sheraton, 3rd Floor
Presentation File: Download


Green infrastructure (GI) projects are seen as an opportunity to increase both the livability and sustainability of the city. In addition to stormwater management, GI is a component of broader revitalization efforts in the city to improve the environment, quality of life, enhance safety and beautification of the city. Current study draws on data gathered as part of a larger transdisciplinary investigation of GI in Detroit (Nassauer et al. 2015). This investigation considered the effects of GI sites on the perception of safety. To understand the effectiveness of the GI projects, Professor Nassauer et al surveyed nearby residents about their perceptions of four pilot bioretention flower gardens. The survey included visualizations of six vacant lots within two clusters approximately 1.5 miles apart in Detroit’s Warrendale neighborhood. The current study investigated how safe the sites look after installation of the four bioretention gardens, and also, how these pilots of design will affect the perception of safety in the whole neighborhood. Results of the study showed that residents found bioretention garden design appeared safer than mowed lots and control sites which were an image of a typical vacant lot in Detroit. Furthermore, compared to the control sites, results of the survey showed that, residents believed that the perception of safety would improve after installation of the bioretention gardens in the neighborhood. This study also investigated other factors such as social support in the neighborhood, observation of crime and demographic variables, that may have affect the perception of safety in a neighborhood.

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