Date of Award:

2014

Document Type:

Thesis

Degree Name:

Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA)

Department:

Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning

Advisor/Chair:

Sean E. Michael

Abstract

It is well-known that, when it comes to crime, some neighborhoods are safer than others. Researchers who make maps of crime have observed that some areas of cities have more crime than others. These areas of high crime are often called hot spots. Crime pattern theory explained why some neighborhoods have more crime than others by looking at criminal events as a meeting between a motivated criminal and a target. Social scientists, geographers, and city planners have shown that criminals generally choose targets from places they see every day, for example on their ride to work or the grocery store. This means that when the daily routine of a criminal changes, the location of that person's criminal behavior could change too. When trends in the daily routine of a whole city change, the location of crimes in that city could change because criminals, in general, will choose targets from different places in the city. In fact, some researchers have suggested that crimes will become clustered around transportation nodes, such as street car stations, after new lines are opened. But so far only a few studies have tried to demonstrate the pattern hot spots follow in the years following major transportation changes. The answer to this question is important to urban designers and police because it would allow them to respond to changes in the location of hot spots when new public transportation projects occur.

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