The case for building $1,500 parks


What’s in a fence? More than you’d think. In neighborhoods where as little as about $1,000 was spent transforming a vacant lot with some grass, a few trees, and a short wooden fence, people felt less depressed and less worthless.

“The beauty of the intervention is that it’s pretty simple,” says Dr. Eugenia C. South, one of the authors on a new study that tracked hundreds of vacant lots across Philadelphia. “Which is good for replication in other cities and being able to scale it up. Also, the cost is relatively inexpensive compared to other types of interventions you might do for health.”

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