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Concept Intro: Revitalization

NCJ Number
Date Published
March 2017
2 pages
This brief explains and illustrates with brief case studies the concept of "revitalization" as an aspect of crime prevention, which is an emphasis in the policy model promoted by the federal Byrne Criminal Justice Innovation Program (BCJI).
The concept of revitalization stems from research that indicates physically altering public and private spaces can have positive impacts on resident behaviors. Neighborhoods with high levels of physical disorder (e.g., graffiti, litter, and abandoned properties) are often perceived as unsafe and attract a variety of criminal activity; however, environmental transformation, such as increasing street lighting on dark alleys, posting signs that prohibit trespassing, replacing graffiti with murals, and replacing blighted properties with new community assets project a positive image that can encourage legitimate use of spaces and discourage potential offenders and crime. Recently, revitalization efforts aided by community partnerships emphasized among BCJI grantees have improved community bonds through positive environmental changes. In Charleston, West Virginia, community partners in one district shut down a bar that was previously a site that caused enough trouble to require repeat calls to police. In Evansville, Indiana, on vacant lots in one neighborhood, Habitat for Humanity rallied community volunteers to help build six new homes intended to reduce neighborhood crime "hot spots." In Providence, Rhode Island, Part II crimes decreased by 41 percent in one neighborhood after police and developers cooperated in a plan to capitalize on the natural advantages of property near a river, developing a new riverside park, constructing affordable housing, and renovating blighted structures. 3 website resources