broken windows theory
There’s a theory that graffiti, abandoned buildings, and panhandling in neighborhoods create an environment that leads people to commit more crime. But Northeastern researchers have found that these and other signs of disorder don’t cause people to break the law or participate in dangerous or unhealthy behavior.
In a recently published study, Northeastern University assistant professor Daniel T. O’Brien offered a new model for advancing the study of neighborhood dynamics. He leveraged Big Data to shed new light on what factors predict crime in urban neighborhoods, finding that private conflict—not public disorder—is a strong indicator.