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Crime and the Physical City (A Methodological Review) (From Link Between Crime and the Built Environment, Volume 2, P C398-C406, 1980, by Tetsuro Motoyama et al - See NCJ-79544)

NCJ Number
T Motoyama; S Shore; H Rubenstein; P Hartjens
Date Published
9 pages
This review assesses the study by Luedtke and Associates that explored the general theory that the physical design of urban neighborhoods has a direct effect on urban crime.
The study was exploratory and consisted of three separate parts--a commercial survey, a residential survey, an an analysis of public housing developments. Buildings that had been crime sites in 1969-1970 were selected for the study. Physical features of various structures were analyzed, along with geographical sections of Detroit, Mich., primarily through the use of onsite observation and surveys. Results are reported through descriptive statistics only. A general finding of the study was that a significant portion of all types of crime is concentrated along commercial strip development areas in Detroit and in areas surrounding a major institutional facility. Another general finding ws that in some precincts, breaking and entering of dwelling units tended to concentrate in a two-block penetration area directly behind the commercial strip developments which surround residential areas. Other conclusions focus on the results of the commercial surveys, the residential surveys, and the public housing survey. A review of the study methodology shows, however, that the study does not allow for causal relationships to be attributed on the basis of the findings. Most conclusions refer only to one type of crime, so conclusions cannot be generalized to all types of crime. The generalizability of the findings is also questionable because of the lack of randomness in the sampling procedure.