What is it about?

This study looks at the relationship between land use and homicide levels in Portland, Oregon neighborhoods. Results show that higher percentages of mixed-use residential zoning (areas with both retail and residential space) are significantly associated with higher levels of homicide, whereas higher percentages of single-family residential zoning (areas with single family homes - stand alone building with its own lot, intended for one family) are significantly associated with lower levels of homicide.

Featured Image

Why is it important?

Findings suggest that land use decisions made by politicians and developers can significantly impact residents' lives. If community members do not have a say in their own city's development, then who are these decisions truly benefiting? This study attempts to analyze just one aspect of a complicated process.


This article started out as a side-project involving what I am most passionate about: neighborhood crime and spatial inequalities. It turned into a poster presentation for a spatial stats course, and then a term paper for an advanced methods course. Later, I was honored to receive the James Short Jr. Research Award (named after the late criminologist, Jim Short) for graduate students in the Sociology Department at WSU for an earlier version of this paper. Eventually after several revisions, this side-project turned into an engaging and enlightening study which I am now happy to share with anyone who feels moved to read it. Lastly, I firmly believe in free and accessible research and education, which is why I provide the pre-published version of this paper, free of charge and accessible to all.

Alana Inlow
Washington State University

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Does Land Use Matter? Understanding Homicide Counts Beyond the Effects of Social Disorganization, Homicide Studies, November 2019, SAGE Publications,
DOI: 10.1177/1088767919884672.
You can read the full text:




The following have contributed to this page