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Green Up Cities to Reduce Violent Crime

City Green Space Crime

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Well-designed and maintained green spaces in cities such as parks, community gardens and tree-lined streets lower the rate of violent crimes, make communities safer and keep people healthier, concluded Cornell University and University of Virginia researchers that conducted a meta-study of 45 papers studying the links between greenery and crime. In particular, more green spaces, such as community gardens converted from vacant lots, decrease gun violence, six studies found. But poorly designed green space with inadequate maintenance, bad lighting and excessive nearby traffic can help crime take root and spread.
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Global Brief: Natural Thinking Spending Time in Nature Increases Cognitive Performance
More of our time is spent indoors than ever before. One of the ways by which nature may improve cognitive function (i.e. the acquisition of and goal-oriented use of knowledge) is by improving memory formation and recall, specifically that of short-term or working memory, and goal-oriented or directed attention; the kind that requires focused effort. By comparing and contrasting 13 studies, a team of researchers has shed light on this complex interaction in research published in Frontiers in Psychology. The studies used the backwards digit span task, which requires participants to invert a series of numbers and repeat them back. All demonstrated significantly improved cognition in nature as compared to urban environments. The benefits of studies like this are two-fold: not only are we learning more about how the brain interacts with its environment, but also how to leverage this interaction to lead healthier, more productive and happier lives.
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