243187 Effects of Land-Use Regulation on the Built Environment and Crime

Monday, October 31, 2011

John M. MacDonald, PhD , Department of Criminology, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
James Anderson, JD , RAND Corporation, Pittsburgh, PA
Ricky N. Bluthenthal, PhD , Department of Preventive Medicine Institute for Prevention Research Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA
Research suggests that public health would be improved if the built environment changed in many urban neighborhoods. While there has been empirical research examining the link between built environment and crime and other health outcomes in neighborhoods, less research has focused on the role that specific land-use policies have in shaping neighborhood environments. This study seeks to examine what effect land-use law has on shaping the built environment and affecting crime outcomes. We examined the relationships between land-use law, the built environment, and crime on 200 blocks in Los Angeles that were selectively matched by neighborhoods so that there would be demographic comparability across blocks. We systematically recorded block face observations, zoning laws, and the reported crimes in the target Los Angeles neighborhoods. From these data we estimated the effect of land use laws on built environment and crime outcomes. We hope to provide policymakers with actionable evidence on ways to reduce crime and improve the built environment by crafting land-use laws and regulation.

Learning Areas:
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Environmental health sciences
Public health or related public policy
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Explain the purported effect of the built environment on crime and public health more generally. To evaluate the effect of zoning laws on the recorded built environment and crime on a large sample of Los Angeles blocks. Discuss the implications for research on zoning laws and regulations as a method of improving the built environment and reducing crime rates in the population.

Keywords: Law, Environment

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have received funding for research I have published in peer reviewed public health journals.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.