Urban Blight Remediation as a Cost-Beneficial Solution to Firearm Violence

Charles C. Branas, PhD, Michelle C. Kondo, PhD, Sean M. Murphy, PhD, Eugenia C. South, MD, Daniel Polsky, PhD, and John M. MacDonald, PhD in The American Journal of Public Health
December 2016

Tens of millions of vacant and abandoned properties exist in the United States. These blighted properties represent tens of billions of dollars in lost tax revenues and municipal costs. They also erode community connectedness, create stress and fear among residents, and, given the findings here, promote firearm violence. For these and other reasons, blight remediation programs have been recognized by multiple organizations interested in reducing violence and promoting urban health, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Institute of Medicine, and the National Institutes of Health. This study demonstrates that simple remediation of abandoned buildings and vacant lots is a high-value intervention to reduce firearm violence.

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