The Changing Morphology of Suburban Crime

Title: The Changing Morphology of Suburban Crime
Format: Journal Article
Publication Date: 1986
Description: This paper examines the spatial dynamics of suburban crime. Four hypotheses are developed postulating a decreasing central city-suburb disparity in crime rates, persistence in the relative crime rates of individual suburbs, a growing heterogeneity in the levels of crime faced by individual suburbs, and an increasing regionalization of suburban crime. The hypotheses are tested through a case study of the Chicago metropolitan area. Property and violent crime rates are studied separately, and the time frame is 1972 to 1981. Central city and suburban crime rates are found to be converging in Chicago and the United States as a whole. Persistence in the relative crime rates of individual Chicago suburbs is significant but weak. Socioeconomic status dominates the process of change in the relative safety of suburbs-not suburban age, as anticipated. Low status suburbs tend to have high-crime rates, and their relative security is worsening over time; the opposite is true of high-status jurisdictions. This process of consolidated advantage is also occurring in a spatial sense; over time, suburban regions with initially safe environments appear able to reinforce their early advantage.
Ivan Allen College Contributors:
Citation: Urban Geography. 7. Issue 1. 46 - 62. ISSN 0272-3638. DOI 10.2747/0272-3638.7.1.46.
Related Departments:
  • Center for Urban Innovation
  • Climate and Energy Policy Laboratory
  • School of Public Policy