ECOLOGICAL NETWORKS AND URBAN CRIME: THE STRUCTURE OF SHARED ROUTINE ACTIVITY LOCATIONS AND NEIGHBORHOOD-LEVEL INFORMAL CONTROL CAPACITY

Christopher R. Browning, Catherine A. Calder, Bethany Boettner, Anna Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations

Abstract

By drawing on the work of Jacobs (1961), we hypothesize that public contact among neighborhood residents while engaged in day-to-day routines, captured by the aggregate network structure of shared local exposure, is consequential for crime. Neighborhoods in which residents come into contact more extensively in the course of conventional routines will exhibit higher levels of public familiarity, trust, and collective efficacy with implications for the informal social control of crime. We employ the concept of ecological (“eco-”) networks—networks linking households within neighborhoods through shared activity locations—to formalize the notion of overlapping routines. By using microsimulations of household travel patterns to construct census tract-level eco-networks for Columbus, OH, we examine the hypothesis that eco-network intensity (the probability that households tied through one location in a neighborhood eco-network will also be tied through another visited location) is negatively associated with tract-level crime rates (N = 192). Fitted spatial autoregressive models offer evidence that neighborhoods with higher intensity eco-networks exhibit lower levels of violent and property crime. In contrast, a higher prevalence of nonresident visitors to a given tract is positively associated with property crime. The results of these analyses hold the potential to enrich insight into the ecological processes that shape variation in neighborhood crime.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)754-778
Number of pages25
JournalCriminology
Volume55
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (5R01DA025415), the OSU Institute for Population Research (NICHD P2CHD058484), the W.T. Grant Foundation, and the National Science Foundation (DMS-1209161). Thanks to Ruth Peterson and Andrew Papachristos for helpful advice on earlier versions of the article. Thanks also to Jenny Piquette for assistance with data management and measure construction. Direct correspondence to Christopher R. Browning, Department of Sociology, The Ohio State University, 238 Townshend Hall, 1885 Neil Ave Mall, Columbus, OH 43210 (e-mail: browning. 90@osu.edu).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 American Society of Criminology

Keywords

  • activity space
  • ecological network
  • neighborhoods
  • social disorganization
  • social networks

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Law

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'ECOLOGICAL NETWORKS AND URBAN CRIME: THE STRUCTURE OF SHARED ROUTINE ACTIVITY LOCATIONS AND NEIGHBORHOOD-LEVEL INFORMAL CONTROL CAPACITY'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this