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Criminal Justice, Law & Society

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Environmental criminology, Crime analysis--United States


Greenspaces play an important role in the urban landscape, with prior research suggesting that they are associated with numerous health and social benefits for residents. Despite this, research conflicts regarding the relationship between greenspaces and crime, with some studies finding these locations to be criminogenic and others finding them to be protective against local crime. This study examines this relationship in Portland, Oregon, considering different greenspace types as well as different crime types. Further, this study presents a novel methodological adaption to measure crime concentration and specialization around discrete location types by integrating a street network buffer into the standard Location Quotient (LQ) metric. Results suggest that Portland’s greenspaces as a whole do not experience a concentration of crime; however, varying patterns emerge when examining different greenspace and crime types. This study identifies diverse crime concentrations in proximity to small parks, while finding other greenspace categories to be associated with crime-specific concentrations nearby. Others, still, have lower than expected counts of crime concentrating nearby, potentially demonstrating protective trends. These results highlight the importance of disaggregating both crime and location types to better understand the complex relationship between greenspaces and crime.


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