Integrative Review of the Intersection of Green Space and Neighborhood Violence

Gibran Mancus, Jacquelyn C Campbell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: To systematically analyze evidence about the impact of green space on the perception and actual safety of residents of urban neighborhoods. Design and Organizing Construct: Systematic review of green space and violence based on Broome review criteria. Methods: One landmark study prompted the initial hand search and identification of search terms. Twenty-three quantitative, five qualitative, and two mixed-methods studies were found in the urban planning, public health, medical, and psychological literature that met the following criteria: analyzed green space and violence as factors in the perception of safety as an outcome measure, including action taken by being outside for recreation, exercise, or self-report in the survey. Findings: Findings were inconsistent regarding the direct relationship between perception of safety and green space when using recreation and exercise as a proxy for perception of safety. Findings regarding perception of safety in surveys were limited but indicated a positive correlation with green space. There is sufficient evidence to conclude that the perception of safety is supported by quality, accessibility, and aesthetic dimensions of neighborhood green space, and the perception of safety is often unrelated to actual crime rates. Conclusions: The science for understanding mechanisms between green space and violence as part of environmental health has been insufficiently developed and requires further study. Environmental health, including green space, is central to health promotion, and understanding is key to preventing the epidemic of violence. Clinical Relevance: This article provides a summary of research related to green space, violence in communities, perception of safety, and violent crime in those communities. It identifies gaps in our knowledge where future research is needed. Nurses have the opportunity to lead the development, implementation, and evaluation of evidence-based interventions and policies addressing the inequality of quality and quantity of green space in the built and natural environment and related co-benefits.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Nursing Scholarship
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)

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