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Old 12-12-2012, 10:20 PM
Location: Duluth, Minnesota, USA
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In Europe, the form of housing the (sub)urban poor live in is not bucolic manors but tower blocks.
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Old 12-13-2012, 08:20 AM
Location: The Port City is rising.
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Originally Posted by nybbler View Post
It's a tempting theory for opponents of density like myself, but Philadelphia did it, and crime dropped. Washington D.C. did it, and crime dropped. New York didn't do it... and crime dropped more.

I don't see it as necessarily an anti-density thing (if its true - as you point out it may not be). In the case of DC it comes off as more a pro urban gentrification thing - the comparative advantage of dense urban places is housing the non-poor, and the comparative advantage of low density places is housing the poor.
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Old 12-13-2012, 01:25 PM
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Location: Long Island / NYC
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Originally Posted by BajanYankee View Post

Mississippi has the highest crime rate of any state and its problem areas are almost all low density with SFHs. The same is true of Orange Mound in Memphis and the Fifth Ward of Houston. There are neighborhoods in Houston with horses tied up in front of the houses that have historically had astronomical murder rates.
Among African-Americans, who make up a disproportionate bulk of murder victims / perpetrators in inner cities, rural Mississippi has one of the lowest black murder rates, far lower than states with a more urban black population.

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Old 12-13-2012, 01:35 PM
Location: Norfolk, VA
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Originally Posted by MDAllstar View Post
D.C. murders fall below triple digits, first time since 1963 | WashingtonExaminer.com

In this article, a hypothesis is made that attempts to provide one of many factors that have lead to the drop in homicides in D.C. and in PG County through gentrification. The claim is that the density of the housing people are living in contributes to the potential for crime. As people left the city and moved into lower density PG County, they were less likely to commit homicides because their neighborhoods were sprawling.

Could confining lower income housing to sprawling low density development help reduce crime? Could this be an answer across the nation? When I say low density by the way, I'm talking about single family homes with land, not suburban garden style apartment buildings. With a return to the city happening, could this be the wave of the future? In Europe, the city is largely wealthy and the outskirts are lower income. Could the U.S. be turning to that model?
No, not at all. Hampton Roads has torn down all mid-rise/high-rise housing projects and they still have problems. In fact, it would appear as though the housing projects are actually safer than the poor neighborhoods where the crime often happens; detached single-story housing spread throughout the cities. I honestly question just how much crime happens in the projects, as opposed to other neighborhoods, regardless of the city.

The argument is one of causation; more poor people in densely packed quarters living on top of each other must lead to higher incidents of crime. But the reality is often more complex than that. In a lot of cases, it was nothing but housing in these neighborhoods. Even poor neighborhoods with single story detached housing have at least a barbershop, beauty salon, corner store, liquor store, etc. So when the housing projects are disinvested, what else would you expect to happen in those neighborhoods. It wasn't as though police were actually patrolling those neighborhoods either; cops would come by long after the crime had occured. In some areas a city bus wouldn't even come through.
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