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By Brooklyn Knight, Criminal Justice
Advisor: Jaime Argueta
Presentation ID: 57
Abstract: After World War II, the government established the Housing Act of 1949, which provided federal funding for cities to clear out run-down neighborhoods and replace them with high-end housing. To do this, the government evicted low-income residents, offered landlords money for their properties, and seized properties through the legal framework of eminent domain. The totality of these events resulted in the program called Urban Renewal. The Urban Renewal Program are federal policies, such as the Housing Acts from 1949 till 1968, to improve economic conditions and living conditions. Urban Renewal resulted in displacement of people due to the program pricing people out. At the same time, the United States started seeing a large increase in homicide rates. In Philadelphia, PA, homicide rates were consistently above the national average between 1954 and 1974. This project examines the association between Philadelphia's homicide rates and Urban Renewal Policy. Using secondary data analysis of the Uniform Crime Reports and Urban Renewal Project Directories, I will determine whether (a) additive renewal policies and (b) the amount spent on urban renewal policies has a corresponding impact on murder rates. This research is important because Urban Renewal gives us the outline to cities and how the opportunity for criminal events are presented in certain hot spots. As the Routine Activities Theory explains, there has to have an opportunity for crime. Thus, Urban Renewal helps us understand how those opportunities were formed.