Associations between violent crime inside and outside, air temperature, urban heat island magnitude and urban green space

Heather R. Stevens*, Petra L. Graham, Paul J. Beggs, Alessandro Ossola

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

There are more incidents of violence in summer and on hot days, a trend likely to be exacerbated by climate change. Urban areas experience additional temperature modulation due to the urban form, however, to date, no studies have considered the effect of the urban heat island (UHI) or green space with respect to the temperature–violence relationship. This study modelled the relationship between the number of daily violent crime incidents that occurred inside or outside between July 2013 and June 2018, and the average surface UHI or percentage greencover (including grasses, shrubs and trees) within each local government area in Greater Sydney, Australia. Panelised negative binomial time series regression models indicated that the violent crime rate was associated with higher surface UHI for crimes committed outside (p = 0.006) but not inside (p = 0.072). Greater percentage of all vegetation was associated with significantly lower rates of violent crime committed outside (p = 0.011) but was not associated with violent crimes committed inside (p = 0.430). More socio-economic disadvantage was associated with higher rates of violent crime committed inside (p = 0.002) but not outside (p = 0.145). Greater temperature was non-linearly associated with higher rates of violent crime committed both inside and outside (p < 0.001). The findings of this study are important because both violence and heat exposure are critical health issues and will be stressed by urbanisation and climate change. The expansion of green space and/or reduction in UHI may mitigate these effects.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Biometeorology
Early online date8 Jan 2024
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 8 Jan 2024

Keywords

  • Crime
  • Green space
  • Heat stress
  • Public health
  • Urban forests
  • Urban greening
  • Urban microclimate

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Associations between violent crime inside and outside, air temperature, urban heat island magnitude and urban green space'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this