Measuring the Effect of Blight Remediation Programs
A new Tulane University research project will "study whether maintaining vacant lots and fixing up blighted properties in high-crime areas reduces incidents of youth and family violence," according to an article by Keith Brannon.
Researchers from Tulane’s schools of Public Health and Tropical Medicine and Architecture received $2.3 million in funding from the National Institutes of Health to study the question, reports Brannon.
The researchers will work with the city of New Orleans to clean up 300 blighted properties around the city.
"They will split the properties into two randomized intervention groups — half featuring overgrown vacant lots that are cleared and maintained and another featuring both remediated buildings and lots," explains Brannon. "Researchers will compare crime rates in the intervention groups with those in matched, untouched control areas to see whether mending disordered spaces can trigger healing psychosocial effects within a neighborhood."
Principal investigator Katherine Theall is quoted in the article saying this study will be the first to measure the connection between blight remediation and youth and family violence.