Does Working Together Prevent Crime? Social Capital, Neighborhoods, and Crime

Hyunsun Choi and David Sloane

in The Oxford Handbook of Urban Economics and Planning

Published in print December 2011 | ISBN: 9780195380620
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

 Does Working Together Prevent Crime? Social Capital, Neighborhoods, and Crime

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  • Economics
  • Urban, Rural, and Regional Economics


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This article addresses the theoretical background and controversies of social capital in relationship to urban crime. It posits that social capital is a key asset to improving crime prevention. When people and organizations are densely related, it creates high levels of bonding and bridging social capital. In terms of crime, social capital builds the trust necessary to sustain a healthy community. However, evidence suggests that in some cases social capital may enhance crime by creating unity among street youth gangs and other parochial groups in a community. In the context of the nature and economics of urban crime, this article mainly addresses urban planning and development approaches and remedies. As more is learnt about the concept, and about the mechanisms that provide the protection, planners will be able to develop targeted interventions to support the growth and maintenance of social capital, improving community social structures and community safety.

Keywords: social capital; urban crime; social structures; community; planning; community safety

Article.  7568 words. 

Subjects: Economics ; Urban, Rural, and Regional Economics

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