Renovating Inner City Buildings Can Reduce Crime

July 28, 2015

Remediating abandoned facilities shown to improve surrounding area.

Improvements made to the doors and windows of abandoned buildings in inner cities can provide more than aesthetic changes – a new study shows thatremediation tactics significantly reduce crime and violence, including gun incidences, in the area surrounding the building.

The study, published in PLOS ONE, examined the effects of a “Doors and Windows Ordinance” that was implemented in 2011 in the city of Philadelphia, following the progress of 2,356 buildings cited by the Philadelphia Department of Licenses and Inspections. The researchers found that while only 29% of the facilities complied with the ordinance, in areas surrounding the improved buildings there was a 19% drop in assaults, 39% reduction in gun assaults, and 16% decrease in nuisance crimes such as vandalism, public drunkenness, and disorderly conduct in the year after exterior improvements were made.

“We found significant reductions in total crimes, assaults, gun assaults, robberies, and nuisance crimes associated with ordinance compliance. This could be the ‘broken windows theory’ in action, with new doors and windows and a newly-cleaned building facade signaling to potential offenders that a property is occupied and crime is not tolerated,” says Michelle Kondo, lead researcher on the report.

Wondering how to improve your facility’s security? Check out these Tips for Window Security to learn more. 

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