Urban forests have become increasingly popular places to run, walk and bike; they also provide a place for large community events such as block parties, picnics, reunion, etc.

A scientific study by University of Illinois researchers Frances E. Kuo, William C. Sullivan, Rebekah Levine Coley and Liesette Brunson has found that, in the inner city, residential spaces with trees and greenery help to build strong neighborhoods.

Residents of buildings with more vegetation know their neighbors better, socialize with them more often, have stronger feelings of community, and feel safer and better adjusted than do residents of buildings with little or no vegetation.

When the spaces next to residences are green, they are enjoyed and used heavily. Such settings support frequent, friendly interaction among neighbors and nurture neighborhood social ties. These ties are the heart of a neighborhood’s strength. When neighborhood social ties are strong, residents help and protect each other. Because the support of neighbors is vital to poor inner city families, it is especially important that their neighborhoods be green.