Saturday, March 7, 2009

Order, Disorder, and Good Neighborhoods

I’ve posted a few times about the idea that real estate values do better in neighborhoods that are well maintained and perceived as safe by their residents (see here and here).

Via Schneier on Security,, some recent research supporting the Broken Windows theory of policing:

Researchers, working with police, identified 34 crime hot spots. In half of them, authorities set to work—clearing trash from the sidewalks, fixing street lights, and sending loiterers scurrying. Abandoned buildings were secured, businesses forced to meet code, and more arrests made for misdemeanors. Mental health services and homeless aid referrals expanded. In the remaining hot spots, normal policing and services continued…

Cleaning up the physical environment was very effective; misdemeanor arrests less so, and boosting social services had no apparent impact.