In Malcolm Gladwell’s The Tipping Point, he talks about how New York reduced it’s crime rate by a substantial amount in the 1990’s by implementing some simple yet very powerful tactics. One of those was to keep the Subways clean. Based on the concept developed by James Q. Wilson and George L. Kelling in a 1982 article titled Broken Windows, by eliminating the small offenses (such as a broken window) it is much more difficult to commit the larger more serious ones.
In January of 2007 Maclean’s magazine wrote an article titled Canada’s Worst Neighborhood which described the North Central Regina neighborhood. Since then many changes have come about for the better but there is still much work to be done. Here’s my thought experiment for the day, it’s now your job to let me know if it’s feasible or not.
- High school kids are looking for jobs
- Neighborhoods need work to be done but the majority of home owners can not afford to pay professionals
- Considering the broken window theory, if we made neighborhoods look good they would be less prone to serious crime
If someone started a non-profit organization supported by the city or donations, these low skilled laborers could learn to paint, fix fencing, basic landscaping, simple carpentry, and gardening. Having these teams of workers going from yard to yard throughout the central area for the two summer months could help immensely in the long run. Ensuring the work was of a certain standard these mobile work camps would provide jobs, teach teens new skills, and help our communities where they need it most. The only thing missing is someone to start and run this program. Thoughts?