The Secret Of Healthy Communities

A scientist's research challenges the "broken windows" theory.
January 10, 2004, 9am PST | Abhijeet Chavan | @legalaidtech
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"In a landmark 1997 paper that he wrote with colleagues in the journal Science, and in a subsequent study in The American Journal of Sociology, Dr. Earls reported that most major crimes were linked not to "broken windows" but to two other neighborhood variables: concentrated poverty and what he calls, with an unfortunate instinct for the dry and off-putting language of social science, collective efficacy...rather than focusing on arresting squeegee men and graffiti scrawlers, local governments should support the development of cooperative efforts in low-income neighborhoods by encouraging neighbors to meet and work together. Indeed, cities that sow community gardens, he said, may reap a harvest of not only kale and tomatoes, but safer neighborhoods and healthier children."

Thanks to Penny Cuff

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Published on Tuesday, January 6, 2004 in The New York Times
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