Fighting crime by selling lots? : Exploring the spatiotemporal relationship between the Chicago’s Large Lots Program and the neighborhood rates of crime with the application of Geographically Weighted Regression

Authors: Sanglim Yoo*, Ball State University
Topics: Urban and Regional Planning, Geographic Information Science and Systems
Keywords: Geographically Weighted Regression (GWR), crime, Chicago, Large Lot Program, urban planning, spatio-temporal
Session Type: Paper
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


As one of the major goals of urban planning practice is the allocation of limited resources within the city with a minimum economic cost, practice such as the reuse of vacant land redevelopment can represent an opportunity for the economic growth and recovery of a diverse range of urban areas. City of Chicago’s large lots program sells selected city-owned lots to nearby homeowners for $1 each as a way to rejuvenate neighborhoods and bring in new property tax revenue to the city. Based on the previous empirical research that confirmed the positive relationship between vacant lot improvement and crime rate reduction, this study investigated whether the transfer of vacant lots from public ownership into local and private ownership has a statistically significant relationship with the incidents of local crime. With the application of Geographically Weighted Regression, this study tried to identify the spatiotemporal relationship between the sales density of residential lots sold through the Large Lot Program in its inaugural year and the changing crime rate in the city of Chicago thereafter. The result of this study confirmed the existence of a statistically significant negative relationship between lot sales density and crime rates, especially for property and drug-related crime over time. This study is significant as it is one of the few studies that addressed and identified the possible effectiveness of a land-based planning approach in crime reduction.

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