HOT SPOTS IN THE CITY: THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN NEIGHBORHOOD CHARACTERISTICS AND THE DEMAND FOR LOCAL GOVERNMENT EMERGENCY SERVICES
1 online resource (197 pages) : PDF
University of North Carolina at Charlotte
There is a common understanding among members of local government emergency services professionals that some neighborhoods require a substantially larger amount of services than others. This phenomenon is primarily driven, it is believed, by the characteristics of the residents who live in those neighborhoods. This is consistent with the arguments of William Julius Wilson, who notes that the public discourse surrounding poverty and urban decay in the last several decades has largely focused on the effects that the cultural characteristics of the poor have on neighborhood outcomes. Following Wilson's call for a bridge between concern about cultural characteristics and the challenges faced by residents in decayed neighborhoods, the purpose of this dissertation is to refocus the conversation about the experience of the urban poor by exploring the spatial nature of clustered calls for fire and police department service delivery, a representation of the socially disorganized nature of the certain neighborhoods in cities. This is accomplished by drawing on the theories of social disorganization and fiscal spillover to develop a spatially explicit model that explores the relationship between neighborhood characteristics and the occurrence of various types of emergencies requiring attention by local fire and police departments: aggregate police calls, assaults, burglaries, domestic violence incidents, aggregate fire calls, emergency medical services calls, and structure fires. This dissertation utilizes U.S. Census data and emergency response data from the City of Charlotte, North Carolina to develop global and local indicators of spatial association calculations, as well as econometric models that employ ordinary least squares, spatially lagged regression, and spatial Durbin models that test the relationships that are posited in the literature. This dissertation concludes that spatial models that are informed by neighborhood characteristics are necessary for local governments to understand the nature of the demands for emergency services and to understand the daily life experiences of those living in urban ghettos. Further, policies that improve neighborhood stability and cohesion, economic well-being, and a positive relationship between city government and residents can reduce the demands for emergency services, reducing costs to the government of providing services and improving the quality of life of residents.
Walsh, JamesSmith, HeatherBird, James
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of North Carolina at Charlotte, 2014.
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