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The Public Policy Lab hosts several public events throughout the year. Sign up for our mailing list to keep up to date with upcoming events.
Neighborhood Improvement and Crime Reduction through Housing Intervention
Since the mid-twentieth century, a vast literature in sociology and criminology has argued that neighborhood characteristics have a profound impact on crime prevalence. These ideas coalesce in the so-called broken window theory, which states that neighborhood deterioration signals low surveillance levels to potential offenders and culminates in increased crime. To empirically assess this argument, we examine if a program to rejuvenate Chicago’s housing stock affected criminal activity. The Micro Market Recovery Program (MMRP) sought to rebuild and restore distressed communities, primarily by reducing the costs of homeownership and housing maintenance in targeted areas. Our results contribute not only to the study of broken window theory, but also to a broader debate over housing policy. The study finds that housing maintenance investments create externalities. We show that rejuvenating the existing private housing stock, as an alternative to constructing public housing or incentivizing new private development, also has positive effects on reducing local crime rates.
Who Do You Serve? And How? Reflections on Community-based Participatory Research in the Era of Evidence-based Policy and Practice
President Biden's 2021 Executive Order 13985, Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government, may be the most significant federal initiative to address the systemic racial and economic inequities first highlighted in the 1968 Kerner Commission Report. In today's era of evidence-based policy and practice, research is a fundamental component of how our society changes and reforms; of how we produce better outcomes for a better world. Accordingly, we face a critical task: How shall we center E.O. 13985's definition of equity and inclusion within evidence-based research? Recognizing the powerful role evidence synthesis plays in modern criminology, this presentation will reflect on lessons learned from implementing a community-based participatory research project where the primary objective is to align equity with the current paradigm of evidence-based policy and practice.
Leveraging Neuroscience Research to Inform Mental Health Policy
The precursors, proximal causes, and consequences of mental health problems are complex, and influenced by individual differences in personality, neurophysiology, and responsivity to threats and rewards. This presentation explores this complexity, with a focus on social anxiety and challenges raised by the recent global pandemic. How does current policy succeed or fail to address mental health diversity? What are the economic ramifications of increasing mental health problems in the context of decreasing social safety nets? Most importantly, how can a deeper understanding of the causes and consequences of psychopathology enable us to improve outcomes at a societal level?
When Your City Becomes a Campus: Life in the Shadows of the Ivory Tower
In his recent book, In the Shadow of the Ivory Tower: How Universities are Plundering our Cities, Davarian L. Baldwin, Trinity College, explores higher education's growing influence over the economic development and political governance of urban America. In this talk, Baldwin will situate the local Philadelphia experience within the larger national story of the rise of “UniverCities."
PPL is delighted to cosponsor this event with the Feinstein Center for American Jewish History at Temple University.