Reprinted from http://www.courierpostonline.com/
CAMDEN – What happens when you restore rundown buildings that contribute to violence?
Camden is about to find out.
The Michigan Youth Violence Prevention Center has received $6 million from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to continue its studies on how improving vacant properties affects violence, property crimes and intentional injuries among youth.
The Michigan center, based at the University of Michigan School of Public Heath, will focus on the effects of engaging residents, particularly youth, in caring for properties in their neighborhoods.
The study will be done in Camden, Flint, Michigan, and Youngstown, Ohio over the span of five years.
Marc Zimmerman, professor of health behavior and health education at University of Michigan, says the study will test a “greening” hypothesis — becoming more active in protecting the environment — and “busy streets theory” — which suggests that by taking care of abandoned, empty lots within inner cities, safer streets will be created.