Study: 'Eyes on the Street' Have Real Value for Neighborhood Safety

The first study to make an attempt at quantifying the value of "eyes on street"—an idea most eloquently described by Jane Jacobs—offers reason to support a mix of uses, with businesses operating later in the evening.
July 24, 2017, 2pm PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Christian Mueller

"In June, a team of researchers released a paper, titled 'Analysis of Urban Vibrancy and Safety in Philadelphia,' that attempts to begin a quantitative analysis of Jacobsian theory by bringing together publicly available data sets related to crime, business activity and the built environment," according to an article by Jared Brey.

Three statisticians from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania conducted the study, investigation "the correlations between public safety and population density, population count, zoning, business activity, and business hours."

Brey details the study's methodology and summarizes its findings. One conclusion to draw from the study: that busineses should be allowed to operate at longer hours. According to Shane Jensen, a statistics professor at Wharton, the findings are tentative but should still give planners and city officials reasons to think about the effect of businesses in a neighborhood. 

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Published on Wednesday, July 19, 2017 in Next City
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