Predoctoral Fellow 2011-2012, Institute for Environmental Science and Policy
This project is focused on the public safety system, a dimension of cities that greatly influences how people navigate the outdoor world. I ask the question – How do neighborhood safety dynamics influence the resident-environment relationship? These safety dynamics include crime, the fear of crime, and government responses to crime. My hypothesis is that neighborhood safety concerns constrict the ways that residents relate to both the built and natural environments, and that these constrictions combine to reduce energy-efficient behaviors. I will test this hypothesis through a qualitative research study in the Austin neighborhood on Chicago’s West Side, an area with high rates of both crime and incarceration and thus serious public safety challenges.