Youth Violence Prevention through Environmental Design

Project Name:
Youth Violence Prevention through Environmental Design
Project Type:
Violent crime is a persistent problem in Flint, Michigan, which far surpasses MI and national rates for murder, rape, robbery, and aggravated assaults (FBI, 2012). Although Flint faces economic and social challenges, the city also benefits from assets that provide a firm foundation for community change. We propose to examine the effects of crime prevention through environmental design (CPTED) on youth violence in a selected area of Flint: the University Avenue Corridor (UAC). A coalition of community organizations, the University Avenue Corridor Coalition (UACC), formed in 2012 with a mission to implement CPTED activities to address blight and crime hotspots, improve neighborhood health and safety, stabilize land use, establish leisure and recreational areas, and create and improve communication links and education in the area. Members – including universities, neighborhood groups, health and social services organizations, local businesses, charitable groups, fraternal organizations, and law enforcement – agreed to offer their resources to address critical issues facing the area and support one another’s initiatives. The proposed evaluation design capitalizes on an overlap between the UAC and intervention area of the Michigan Youth Violence Prevention Center?s (MI-YVPC). The MI-YVPC supports six programs in a 2.3 square mile area of Flint and has monitored a comparison area 1.6 miles from the YVPC/UAC intervention areas. Crime, injury, and property assessment data collected by MI-YVPC allow us to establish a baseline for these indicators prior to the initiation of the UACC in 2012, and during the proposed project. We will conduct an outcome evaluation of the entire UACC effort utilizing a 2X2 design. The outcome evaluation will employ a quasi-experimental design to assess the effectiveness of four conditions: CPTED only, CPTED plus MI-YVPC interventions, MI-YVPC interventions only, and a comparison area where neither intervention was implemented. We will compare neighborhoods that did not receive the interventions in two ways: 1) comparative analysis across neighborhoods with similar violence incidence and demographic characteristics; and 2) spatial analysis comparing outcomes across all census tracts controlling for several confounding variables. The study outcomes will include crime incidents, assault injuries, property conditions, and resident perceptions and behaviors. We will draw upon the expertise and data resources of the MI-YVPC to carry out a study that compares various types and intensities of violence prevention interventions. Our collaboration with the UACC both provides useful input for interpreting evaluation results, and ensures sustainability and scalability of the program after our evaluation is completed.
YVPC, intervention, MI-YCPC, evaluation, Crime, injury, property assessment, violence, outcome evaluation, CPTED, property conditions, quasi-experimental design
Project Audience:
Adolescents Young Adults Adults Older Adults Other – built environment
Project Audience Other:
Project Funder:
Health and Human Services, Department of-Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Project Funding:
Project Principal Investigator:
Marc Zimmerman
Key Personnel:
Lead Institution:
University of Michigan School of Public Health
Current Academic Partners:
Current Community Partners:
Needed Academic Partners:
Needed Community Partners:
Project Contact Name:
Project Contact Other Email:

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