Broken Window Economics

 

Before and after photos of a blighted property in Philadelphia. | Photos: Penn Urban Health Lab, via Philly Voice

Before and after photos of a blighted property in Philadelphia. | Photos: Penn Urban Health Lab, via Philly Voice

  • A study released early last year by the Penn Urban Health Lab determined that blight remediation does in fact affect rates of firearm-related crimes. Now, a follow up report points to some numbers on the first-year return on investment on such interventions, says the Philly Voice’s Michael Tanenbaum. Indirect economic savings from firearm assaults for the tax paying public amount to $5 per abandoned building and $26 per vacant lot; for society as a whole, “first-year returns on investment for firearm assaults averted were $79 for the remediation of an abandoned building and $333 for the greening of a vacant lot.”
  • Plan Phillys Jim Saksa relates news of PennDOT’s awarding of $4.6 million across four Multimodal Transportation Fund (MTF) projects across the city. These include: 1) $911,000 to the Schuylkill River Development Corporation for the completion of the Schuylkill River Trail from  South Street to Christian Street, 2) $811,000 to the Streets Department for safety improvements to three public schools, 3) $2 million for Logan West Associates to reinsert the street grid inside the Logan Triangle, and 4) $889,000 for road and safety improvements along City Avenue.
  • Inga Saffron is fascinated by Frank L. Petrillo’s synthetic 1938 design for the Our Lady of Loreto Catholic church at 62nd Street & Grays Avenue in Southwest Philadelphia. The streamline moderne structure’s belfry, evoking the nascent imagery of commercial flight, mimics an antenna-topped air traffic control tower.
About the author

Stephen Currall recently received his BA in history from Arcadia University. Before beginning doctoral studies, he is pursuing his interest in local history, specifically just how Philadelphians engage their vibrant past. Besides skimming through 18th century letters, Steve is also interested in music and travel.

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