A Simple Approach to Abandoned Buildings Improved Crime in Philadelphia

The city of Philadelphia's Doors and Windows Ordinance applied the Broken Windows Theory to positive results.
July 22, 2015, 1pm PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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"To remediate dilapidated neighborhoods, four years ago Philadelphia passed an ordinance requiring vacant property owners to make simple, cheap renovations to building fronts," according to an article by Kate Wheeling, and the results have been solidly positive.

A team of researchers evaluated the abandoned building remediation strategy, enabled by the 2011 Doors and Windows Ordinance, and published their findings recently in the journal PLoS One.

"The researchers found that the restoration plan had a significant effect on crime: Over the study period, the city saw small reductions in total crime, specifically in assaults, gun assaults, robberies, and nuisance crimes around abandoned buildings that made moves to comply with the new ordinance. Even greater reductions were seen around buildings that applied for renovation permits above and beyond the windows and doors."

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Published on Monday, July 20, 2015 in Pacific Standard
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