Community Action Research

  • Donnelly P
  • Kimble C
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Abstract

This research examines the outcomes of actions taken by members of a residential neighborhood association to revitalize a neighborhood and to make it a safer and more secure place to live. This urban neighborhood association initiated a major planning process in cooperation with city officials. Residents overwhelmingly adopted the plan that included the creation of mini-neighborhoods with a series of gates to moderate traffic flow, increase neighborliness, and reduce crime. An analysis of official data from police crime reports shows that crime was significantly reduced in the neighborhood after the street changes. This reduction in crime was maintained even five years later. Telephone interviews with neighborhood residents indicated that they perceived reductions in traffic, crime, noise and drug offenses for at least five years after the changes. Even though neighborhood cohesion did not increase, it appears that the actions instigated and promoted by neighborhood association members enhanced the quality of life for neighborhood residents.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Civic involvement
  • Community crime prevention
  • Community problems
  • Neighborhood associations
  • Resident participation

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Authors

  • Patrick G. Donnelly

  • Charles E. Kimble

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