NYC Study to Examine How Outdoor Lighting Reduces Crime

"We need to use every tool at our disposal to ensure that every New Yorker is safe. By partnering with residents from these 40 developments on this rigorously evaluated study, the city will be able to understand precisely how different lighting strategies can reduce crime and create safer public spaces," Mayor Bill de Blasio said.

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio announced March 11 that, in partnership with residents from 40 public housing developments, the city is beginning a first-in-the-nation study of how different lighting installation strategies affect crime reduction. The results of this study will inform how the city makes future investments in permanent lighting, de Blasio said.

"We need to use every tool at our disposal to ensure that every New Yorker is safe. By partnering with residents from these 40 developments on this rigorously evaluated study, the city will be able to understand precisely how different lighting strategies can reduce crime and create safer public spaces," he said.

The participating public housing developments will receive 400 units of additional temporary lighting over the next six months; city officials worked with residents to identify exterior locations within their developments they felt most needed nighttime lighting. The study will determine the effect of lighting on outdoor criminal activity, including an evaluation of the impact of varying amounts of additional lighting, and will survey residents to determine how lighting changes their fears of crime or victimization. The study and the lighting towers are funded with $5.56 million in city asset forfeiture money.

"When we think about deterring crime, we need to pursue a broad range of strategies beyond traditional law enforcement. A well-lit street deters crime better than a dark alley, just as opportunities for work and play promote safety better than disadvantage and disconnection," said Elizabeth Glazer, director of the Mayor's Office of Criminal Justice. "These are the ideas at the heart of the Mayor's Action Plan for Neighborhood Safety. Conducting this study is an important next step in this action plan and in our work to promote public safety in partnership with the residents of public housing."

"Yesterday evening, I was proud to stand with [New York City Housing Authority] residents to celebrate the installation of 357 new state-of-the-art LED lighting fixtures at the Polo Grounds Towers. Good lighting is just one component of my office's $101 million commitment to enhancing security measures at 15 NYCHA development sites citywide, which also includes layered access and security cameras. I commend the city for authorizing this study; in this day and age, it's not enough to simply state that something works; success needs to be evaluated, measured and documented, so that future investments can be made intelligently and their effectiveness maximized," said Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr.

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