A Methodology for Assessing Dynamic Fine Scale Built Environments and Crime: A Case Study of the Lower 9th Ward After Hurricane Katrina

  • Andrew Curtis
  • Jacqueline W. Curtis
  • S. Wright Kennedy
  • Amit Kulkarni
  • Traci Auer
Part of the Geotechnologies and the Environment book series (GEOTECH, volume 8)


This chapter will present a method of data collection and analysis for fine scale environments experiencing change. The setting for this work is the Lower 9th Ward of New Orleans for the period 2010 and 2011. The approach described here utilizes a low cost mobile data collection strategy involving a spatial video, a built environment coding scheme, and fine scale spatial analysis using a spatial filter that creates a surface of abandonment/blight/returnee rates linked to individual crimes. This chapter will also address the need for longitudinal analysis beyond simply considering changes in crime events by framing crimes between two data collection periods. Although this chapter should be viewed as a methodological example, including the importance of primary data collection and spatial investigation at the street segment scale, one interesting result is that crimes in association with abandonment and blight only became statistically significant for the 2011 landscape. The chapter concludes with several examples of spatial video derived fine scale maps that can be used to advance current spatial crime theories.


Hurricane Katrina Lower 9th Ward Spatial video Disaster recovery and crime 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andrew Curtis
    • 1
  • Jacqueline W. Curtis
    • 1
  • S. Wright Kennedy
    • 2
  • Amit Kulkarni
    • 3
  • Traci Auer
    • 4
  1. 1.GIS Health & Hazards Lab, Department of GeographyKent State UniversityKentUSA
  2. 2.Department of HistoryRice UniversityHoustonUSA
  3. 3.Department of Geography and AnthropologyLouisiana State UniversityLouisianaUSA
  4. 4.Department of EconomicsUniversity of Southern CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA

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