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John Morris

Well, at least we are finally on a subject that most people list as one of the main reasons they don't live in many cities. But, like Sam here, most city governments don't seem to consider this important anymore. For the most part, government has new and exiting things to do. The basic constitutional functions of government are too boring, I guess.

Sam M

What do you mean I don't find it important? I'm the one who wrote the post.

John Morris

How many times is crime mentioned on this blog? It's a pretty rare thing.I have to admit tht speculating about the design of cities is facinating, but this is one of the core issues and you hardly mention it.

John Morris

From what I could see from a look at your archive going back to May, crime has been touched upon in three posts including this one. October-- another anti gun control post and August-- A post about the failed drug war.

Sam M

Well a lot of what I do is riff off of developments in the news. And so far, no one I am aware of is claiming that a hockey arena will reduce violence, or that Piatt Place will be an effective way to counter major property crimes. But I am waiting.

So yes, crime is a major element of making cities work. But maybe not nearly as major as the perception of crime. As I think the VPC study (and others) make clear, most places are pretty safe... For white people.

Even safer for white people not involved in the illegal drug trade. And safer yet for white people not involved in the drug trade and not involved in domestic violence.

That does not indicate that nobody should do anything about crime. The fact that African-Americans make up such a disproporionate number of homicide victims is a societal failure of epic proportions. But it also seems to indicate that many of the people who flee cities to get away from violent crime have an exaggerated sense of the danger they face.

But still, violence and crime are real problems. For people of all races. (But again, particularly minorities in urban areas.) What to do about it? I would suggest actually prosecuting people who violate gun laws already on the books, a la Richmond, VA. (Although I am not quite sure why that has to be done at the federal level. I can't understand why the state can't be just as vigilant.) I suggest making more room in prisons by releasing non-violent drug offenders. I suggest focussing more police efforts on reducing violent crime--and freeing up the resources to do so by abandning the (failed) War on Drugs. And if all that does not free up enough resources to do what needs to be done, perhaps the city ought to stop spending money on stadiums and skyscrapers and focus instead on core municipal functions.

Like fighting crime.

That is, perhaps as far as services go, Mario Lemieux is not the city's neediest citizen. And perhaps PNC Bank is not its neediest institution. And perhaps the guy buying a nickel bag from his buddy is not public enemy number one.

John Morris

Well I agree with everything you said thre. But this is what I mean about context. When, you poll people about why they don't live in cities- crime/ perception of crime is always near the top of the list so you can't do a lot of posts about the demand for urban residents without talking a lot about that. For cities like Philly, Baltimore, Newark and Detroit this is the main issue out there.

I strongly suspect that the main areas that the city is losing residents from are the high crime neighborhoods. Rudy, does deserve huge credit for taking that issue seriously. As the city got safer, one could see that there was a big pent up demand to live there.

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