Skip to Main Content
U.S. Forest Service
Caring for the land and serving people

United States Department of Agriculture

Home > Search > Publication Information

  1. Share via EmailShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on Twitter
    Dislike this pubLike this pub
    Author(s): Michelle C. Kondo; Christopher Morrison; Sara F. Jacoby; Liana Elliott; Albert Poche; Katherine P. Theall; Charles C. Branas
    Date: 2018
    Source: Public Health Reports
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    Station: Northern Research Station
    PDF: Download Publication  (455.0 KB)


    Objectives: In 2005, Hurricane Katrina caused damage in New Orleans, Louisiana, and much of the land in low-resource neighborhoods became vacant and blighted. In 2014, New Orleans launched a program, Fight the Blight, which remediated properties in 6 neighborhoods. Our objective was to examine changes in crime rates near lots that were remediated (ie, debris removed and vegetation mowed). Methods: We used a quasi-experimental design to test whether crime rates changed from preremediation (January 2013–October 2014) to postremediation (July 2016–March 2017) near 204 vacant lots that were remediated compared with 560 control vacant lots that were not remediated between October 2014 and July 2016. We also examined differences between remediated lots that received 1 treatment (n = 64) and those that received ≥2 treatments (n = 140). Results: We found no significant differences between remediated and control lots in levels of violent, property, and domestic crimes from preremediation to postremediation. However, the number of drug crimes per square mile decreased significantly near all remediated lots (5.7% lower; P < .001) compared with control lots, largely driven by the significant decrease (6.4% lower; P < .001) in drug crimes found near lots that received ≥2 treatments. Conclusions: Investing in programs that improve neighborhood environments affected by high rates of physical disorder and vacancy may be a way to decrease violence. However, routine remediation may be needed to increase the public health impact of blight abatement programs in warmer climates, where weeds and vegetation grow rapidly.

    Publication Notes

    • Check the Northern Research Station web site to request a printed copy of this publication.
    • Our on-line publications are scanned and captured using Adobe Acrobat.
    • During the capture process some typographical errors may occur.
    • Please contact Sharon Hobrla, if you notice any errors which make this publication unusable.
    • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.


    Kondo, Michelle C.; Morrison, Christopher; Jacoby, Sara F.; Elliott, Liana; Poche, Albert; Theall, Katherine P.; Branas, Charles C. 2018. Blight Abatement of Vacant Land and Crime in New Orleans. Public Health Reports. 133(6): 650-657.


    Google Scholar


    blight abatement, vacant land, crime, violence, remediation

    Related Search

    XML: View XML
Show More
Show Fewer
Jump to Top of Page