Document Type

Lesson 8: Green Space, Social Networks, and Crime


The purpose of this lesson is to investigate how green space influences the interactions between people in cities. Specifically, the lesson focuses on the idea that increased green space provides a location where social networks can be established and supported. Social networks affect health by improving collaboration and the transmission of knowledge. Green space can also reduce conflict and stress in the neighborhood, which can reduce crime. The lesson starts with students brainstorming what they think is the relationship between the amount of available green space and the interactions between people in cities. The students conduct an activity that focuses on how individuals can be important resources for each other and that social networks can help support people living in cities. Finally, the teacher presents a PowerPoint and leads a discussion around two research studies that were conducted in Chicago that compare available green space to people’s sense of community and crime rates. Areas that have more green space and vegetation are more likely to have residents who have a strong sense of community and lower crime rates.