Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science



Major Professor

David A. Patterson

Committee Members

John D. Penne


Although, planning is bases on the construct of the physical environment planners rarely consider the impact of their decisions on crime. This thesis looks at the built environment and its effect on the spatial distribution on crime in four West Palm Beach neighborhoods. The crimes studied are aggravated assault, burglary and robbery. Several theorists have stated that environmental factors do affect criminal behavior. To assess such claims crime locations were geocoded and overlaid with a many different variables including land use, density, road hierarchy, intersections, and access points in order to determine the spatial relationship of these variables to crime location. Neighborhoods were chosen to control for the effect on income and, to the extent possible, level of police service. The research could not confirm many of the variables said to attract crime, it nevertheless found a positive correlations between crime locations and road hierarchy, access points, intersections and commercial uses. Density, a factor often cited as a contributor to crime location had negligible effect.

Files over 3MB may be slow to open. For best results, right-click and select "save as..."