Project Title: Crime in and around neighborhood parks: Bad parks, bad neighborhoods, or both?
Affiliated Faculty: Elizabeth Groff and Ralph Taylor
Description: Neighborhood parks in urban areas are public spaces that provide a variety of recreational opportunities for residents in a natural environment. At the same time, they can become staging areas for illegal and disorderly activities. Systematic social observations describing park characteristics, US Census data quantifying neighborhood social composition, community surveys capturing social cohesion, and official crime data are analyzed using multilevel models to examine: 1) whether activity generating features of parks explain differences in crime levels across parks; 2) whether differences in parks’ neighborhood context explain differences in crime levels across parks; and 3) the extent to which park characteristics as opposed to neighborhood context explain differences in crime levels across parks. Our results are discussed in terms of their implications for theories of crime and place.