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A Difference-In-Differences Study of the Effects of a New Abandoned Building Remediation Strategy on Safety.

Kondo MC, Keene D, Hohl BC, MacDonald JM, Branas CC - PLoS ONE (2015)

Bottom Line: Building remediations were also significantly associated with reductions in violent gun crimes in one city section (p < 0.01).Building renovation permits were significantly associated with reductions in all crime classifications across multiple city sections (p < 0.001).We found no significant spatial displacement effects.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: United States Department of Agriculture-Forest Service, Northern Research Station, Philadelphia, PA, United States of America; Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, United States of America.

ABSTRACT
Vacant and abandoned buildings pose significant challenges to the health and safety of communities. In 2011 the City of Philadelphia began enforcing a Doors and Windows Ordinance that required property owners of abandoned buildings to install working doors and windows in all structural openings or face significant fines. We tested the effects of the new ordinance on the occurrence of crime surrounding abandoned buildings from January 2011 to April 2013 using a difference-in-differences approach. We used Poisson regression models to compare differences in pre- and post-treatment measures of crime for buildings that were remediated as a result of the ordinance (n = 676) or permitted for renovation (n = 241), and randomly-matched control buildings that were not remediated (n = 676) or permitted for renovation (n = 964), while also controlling for sociodemographic and other confounders measured around each building. Building remediations were significantly associated with citywide reductions in overall crimes, total assaults, gun assaults and nuisance crimes (p < 0.001). Building remediations were also significantly associated with reductions in violent gun crimes in one city section (p < 0.01). At the same time, some significant increases were seen in narcotics sales and possession and property crimes around remediated buildings (p < 0.001). Building renovation permits were significantly associated with reductions in all crime classifications across multiple city sections (p < 0.001). We found no significant spatial displacement effects. Doors and windows remediation offers a relatively low-cost method of reducing certain crimes in and around abandoned buildings. Cities with an abundance of decaying and abandoned housing stock might consider some form of this structural change to their built environments as one strategy to enhance public safety.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Map of Doors and Windows Ordinance violations, and treatment and control locations for violation compliance and renovation permits in Philadelphia, PA.Data source: Philadelphia Department of Licensing and Inspection (2013) North (N), Northwest (NW), South (S) and West (W) sections are indicated.
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pone.0129582.g003: Map of Doors and Windows Ordinance violations, and treatment and control locations for violation compliance and renovation permits in Philadelphia, PA.Data source: Philadelphia Department of Licensing and Inspection (2013) North (N), Northwest (NW), South (S) and West (W) sections are indicated.

Mentions: We conducted this random matching process within each of four city sections (see Fig 3) in order to control for confounding variables relating to geography or section location. Sections are well-known within Philadelphia because they are separated by significant boundaries, such as rivers, parks, or major thoroughfares. Each section has its own characteristics, some of which may confound the effect of housing changes on crime patterns. These areas also tend to have a higher percent of population living in poverty. Fig 3 also shows treatment site locations and violation compliance treatment sites were an average of 608 feet apart and renovation permit treatment sites were an average of 1,026 feet apart. The difference-in-differences modeling approach can generate an unbiased estimate of the effect of the ordinance on changes in crime for those willing to comply with the intervention, even if conditions at control and treatment sites are not comparable [27].


A Difference-In-Differences Study of the Effects of a New Abandoned Building Remediation Strategy on Safety.

Kondo MC, Keene D, Hohl BC, MacDonald JM, Branas CC - PLoS ONE (2015)

Map of Doors and Windows Ordinance violations, and treatment and control locations for violation compliance and renovation permits in Philadelphia, PA.Data source: Philadelphia Department of Licensing and Inspection (2013) North (N), Northwest (NW), South (S) and West (W) sections are indicated.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4496053&req=5

pone.0129582.g003: Map of Doors and Windows Ordinance violations, and treatment and control locations for violation compliance and renovation permits in Philadelphia, PA.Data source: Philadelphia Department of Licensing and Inspection (2013) North (N), Northwest (NW), South (S) and West (W) sections are indicated.
Mentions: We conducted this random matching process within each of four city sections (see Fig 3) in order to control for confounding variables relating to geography or section location. Sections are well-known within Philadelphia because they are separated by significant boundaries, such as rivers, parks, or major thoroughfares. Each section has its own characteristics, some of which may confound the effect of housing changes on crime patterns. These areas also tend to have a higher percent of population living in poverty. Fig 3 also shows treatment site locations and violation compliance treatment sites were an average of 608 feet apart and renovation permit treatment sites were an average of 1,026 feet apart. The difference-in-differences modeling approach can generate an unbiased estimate of the effect of the ordinance on changes in crime for those willing to comply with the intervention, even if conditions at control and treatment sites are not comparable [27].

Bottom Line: Building remediations were also significantly associated with reductions in violent gun crimes in one city section (p < 0.01).Building renovation permits were significantly associated with reductions in all crime classifications across multiple city sections (p < 0.001).We found no significant spatial displacement effects.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: United States Department of Agriculture-Forest Service, Northern Research Station, Philadelphia, PA, United States of America; Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, United States of America.

ABSTRACT
Vacant and abandoned buildings pose significant challenges to the health and safety of communities. In 2011 the City of Philadelphia began enforcing a Doors and Windows Ordinance that required property owners of abandoned buildings to install working doors and windows in all structural openings or face significant fines. We tested the effects of the new ordinance on the occurrence of crime surrounding abandoned buildings from January 2011 to April 2013 using a difference-in-differences approach. We used Poisson regression models to compare differences in pre- and post-treatment measures of crime for buildings that were remediated as a result of the ordinance (n = 676) or permitted for renovation (n = 241), and randomly-matched control buildings that were not remediated (n = 676) or permitted for renovation (n = 964), while also controlling for sociodemographic and other confounders measured around each building. Building remediations were significantly associated with citywide reductions in overall crimes, total assaults, gun assaults and nuisance crimes (p < 0.001). Building remediations were also significantly associated with reductions in violent gun crimes in one city section (p < 0.01). At the same time, some significant increases were seen in narcotics sales and possession and property crimes around remediated buildings (p < 0.001). Building renovation permits were significantly associated with reductions in all crime classifications across multiple city sections (p < 0.001). We found no significant spatial displacement effects. Doors and windows remediation offers a relatively low-cost method of reducing certain crimes in and around abandoned buildings. Cities with an abundance of decaying and abandoned housing stock might consider some form of this structural change to their built environments as one strategy to enhance public safety.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus