Twenty-five years ago, social scientist James Q. Wilson and criminologist (and Manhattan Institute senior fellow) George Kelling first introduced the phrase “Broken Windows” into the public policy lexicon. In a pathbreaking Atlantic Monthly article, Wilson and Kelling pointed out that people were likelier to vandalize a building with one broken window than a building with none, since a broken window sends the message that nobody cares, encouraging vandals to act on their destructive impulses. Similarly, they suggested, if a community tolerates quality-of-life offenses, such as drug use and prostitution, it signals to all potential lawbreakers that it doesn’t care what happens to it; more serious crime will soon result. read the rest...Blueprint Buffalo uses this framework as a point of departure for kick starting the conversation here in Buffalo on abandonment and vacancy issues. Wrote about this way back, last Novemeber - Getting Smarter about Decline.
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