Cleaner Urban Environment, Less Crime - friday 2009-02-20 1445 last modified 2009-02-20 1445
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Some proof, thanks to Harvard and Suffolk Universities and the reporting of the Boston Globe.

I have some questions about what type of crime and where exactly those deterred by a lack of graffiti went ("gone are the problem tenants"). Given the reporting is accurate, this seems like a practical study (published/available where?) that doesn't necessarily imply a requirement of direct civic intervention. One wonders what might happen when a team with brooms and paint and trash haulers wanders in to South Central LA or Detroit or Philly, when basic dignity is imputed into a habitat's surroundings. I suppose abandoned areas would be susceptible to urban rot returning, but that's a whole ball of other issues surrounding urban renewal.

LAPD Crime Maps and brooms, anyone?


Collective Efficacy

There is earlier research, very well funded and executed, that shows that while tidy is corrolated with crime. So it that work (and yeah it would be nice to see the actual paper(s)) reproduces that result.

But the earlier research reachs a different conclusion. What you need to reduce crime is collective efficacy. Such nieghborhoods tend to be tidy, but even those that arent' have low crime rates.

Ben Hyde on February 21, 2009 07:18 AM


Seeing as one of the reasons this cleanup seemed to work was booting out "problem tenants" (and introducing them elsewhere - so is that a solution or a deferment?) suggests that exhibited cleanliness isn't the active agent itself. I'm not well versed in sociological theory, but I would be disappointed if simply sending in a janitorial crew was the prescription of the broken windows proponent.

Ryan Lee on March 02, 2009 08:54 PM

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