Study Sheds Light on the Effect of Streetlights on Crime
Leah Bikovitz reports on new research [pdf] from former Kinder Institute fellow Heather O’Connell that "confirms that more streetlights don’t necessarily mean less crime" in Houston.
Among the study's findings, as shared by Binkovitz:
- "Low crime rates appear throughout the city, in both high- and low-income neighborhoods. This challenges common overgeneralizations connecting poverty and crime."
- "Crime rates are actually often higher in areas of the city with higher streetlight densities. "
The big takeaway from the study: cities and communities shouldn't expect streetlights to reduce crime, because they don't always achieve that effect.
A 2014 CityLab article by Mike Riggs provides more background on the "seemingly endless debate" about the effect of streetlights on crime.