Security Journal

, Volume 30, Issue 3, pp 807–824 | Cite as

Neighborhood parks, evidence of guardianship, and crime in two diverse US cities

  • Eric S McCord
  • Kimberly A Houser
Original Article


Research addressing the link between crime and parks has primarily focused on fear of crime with limited empirical research verifying or denying a crime-park relationship. This article examines the results of two nearly identical studies examining the relationship between neighborhood parks and crime, in two very dissimilar cities, Philadelphia, PA and Louisville, KY. These cities vary greatly in size, population density, median income, per cent minorities and per cent living in poverty, among other factors. Findings of the studies, which are grounded in theories of environmental criminology, show that neighborhood parks are associated with increased crime levels in their immediate surroundings. In addition, although characteristics of parks significantly related to crime levels in each city vary somewhat, findings clearly demonstrate the underlying importance guardianship plays is explaining the criminogenic nature of neighborhood parks.


Parks guardianship location quotients routine activities theory crime pattern theory 


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Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Ltd 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eric S McCord
    • 1
  • Kimberly A Houser
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Justice Administration, University of LouisvilleLouisvilleUSA
  2. 2.Department of Law and Justice Studies, Rowan UniversityGlassboroUSA

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