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Review article - Peer-reviewed, 2013

Perceived personal safety in relation to urban woodland vegetation - A review

Jansson, Märit; Fors, Hanna; Lindgren, Therese; Wiström, Björn


Urban woodland vegetation provides people with many aesthetic, ecological and psychological benefits, but can also generate problems concerning people's perception of safety. This paper reviews existing knowledge about perceived personal safety in relation to vegetation, particularly woodland vegetation, in urban green spaces such as parks and residential areas. Individual and social factors, but also vegetation character, maintenance and design, proved to be important for perceived personal safety. Vegetation-related aspects identified as being of particular importance include landscape design, possibilities for overview and control, vegetation density, and vegetation character and maintenance. Vegetation of an open character with low density undergrowth might have positive effects on perceived personal safety without reducing other benefits. Issues for future research include context-based studies to consider several aspects of vegetation and their interactions. (C) 2013 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.


Fear; Fear of crime; Landscape design; Landscape planning; Vegetation development

Published in

Urban Forestry and Urban Greening
2013, Volume: 12, number: 2, pages: 127-133