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Crime and Building Rehabilitation or Demolition: A Dose-Response Analysis

NCJ Number
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health Volume: 19 Issue: 20 Dated: 2023
Date Published

This study uses dose-response analysis to examine the relationship between demolitions, rehabilitations, and crime.


This study examines the dose-response relationship between demolitions, rehabilitations, and crime. Across vacancy levels, the majority of the researchers’ models do not identify statistically significant associations between demolition and rehabilitation dose and crime incidence. However, in some cases, the authors identify positive associations between demolition and crime. These associations generally appeared at higher levels of demolition (2 or 3 or more demolitions) in areas characterized by medium to high levels of vacancy. The authors also find that the presence of a property rehabilitation is associated with an increase in drug crimes in areas with medium levels of vacancy. The authors use Bayesian spatiotemporal models to estimate the association of interest for five types of crime outcomes: violent crimes, violent crimes involving a firearm, drug crimes, and crimes often associated with building vacancy. The authors estimate associations in quarterly time periods from 2012 through 2017 in 569 hexagons approximately the size of a neighborhood (2000 feet, approximately 610 m, in diameter), stratified by vacancy level. Thousands of buildings in Cleveland, Ohio were demolished or rehabilitated since the Great Recession in the 2000s. Recent evidence suggests removing vacant and decaying buildings reduces violent and firearm-involved crime. (Published Abstract Provided)

Date Published: January 1, 2023