Pub. date: 2010 | Online Pub. Date: November 23, 2010 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412959193 | Print ISBN: 9781412959186 | Online ISBN: 9781412959193 | Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Physical Environment and Crime
Ralph B. Taylor
Connecting physical environment, crime, and crime prevention is a huge topic. Broader literature reviews appear in the Annotated Further Readings of this volume. This entry narrows the focus by concentrating on the question of causal impacts at the neighborhood or streetblock level, as well as contextual impacts on individuals or households. Further, this entry notes problems with inferring causal impacts of physical environment features. It also highlights difficulties in clearly demonstrating ecological connections between features of physical environment—or other features of neighborhood fabric, for that matter—and hypothesized mediating social, behavioral, or psychological processes taking place at the small group or community level. The focus of the current entry is a response to questions raised by Robert Sampson, Per-Olof Wikström, and others about whether, despite the many recent statistical and methodological advances in communities and crime research, criminologists are actually any closer to demonstrating neighborhood effects on crime which are causal ...