Saturday, July 15, 2017

“Revitalizing Southeast Florida’s Urban Core”. And about education, the economy, crime, and “abandoning older neighborhoods”.

Many of you will be very surprised to learn in what year the following information was published. The details are below.

One of the primary reasons new residents to Palm Beach County look west, away from our coastal cities for a home is because of crime — and the perception of crime — much of which is unfairly and inaccurately portrayed in the press and media. Without further ado. . .

“Because communities must be designed, built, and perceived as safe and secure places to live, both the prevention of actual crime and improvements to perceived levels of security are essential. Successful redevelopment and infill development will not occur in a high crime environment.

and. . .

“Social scientists and criminologists wrestle with the factors which can lead a person to criminal behavior. The vast majority of victims know their assailant, and murder victims are usually related to these assailants. Socio-economic conditions such as poverty, lack of education, unemployment, and a lack of positive role models, can exacerbate criminal tendencies.
     The general population perceives that central city areas, whose residents are more likely to live under difficult socio-economic conditions, provide fewer safe opportunities for investment in residential property. This belief is manifested in decades of institutional and individual investment decisions about the location of hazardous materials facilities, redlining, and abandoning older neighborhoods for the suburbs. Cumulatively, these decisions reduce the opportunities for employment and education that are most needed in these neighborhoods, reinforcing the effects of poverty and despair that, in turn, can contribute to criminal activity.
     There are neighborhoods in the urban core of Southeast Florida that continue to thrive despite negative perceptions about the people living there. These neighborhoods possess characteristics that help to neutralize the effects of nearby criminal activity: strong social institutions, unique architectural character or amenities, and a well-defined sense of community that fosters feelings of responsibility and obligation among its residents. Amenities and design elements that contribute to community building must be considered in the redevelopment of the urban core.

Quotes from Eastward Ho!, “Revitalizing Southeast Florida’s Urban Core”, pp. 26–27. Prepared by the South Florida Regional Planning Council in conjunction with the Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council. An initiative of the Governor’s Commission for a Sustainable South Florida:

Published in July 1996.

From the “Executive Summary”, page 1, of Eastward Ho!:

The area between the Florida East Coast (FEC) and Chesapeake Seaboard (CSX) railroads throughout the tri-county area was once the thriving, functional core of the region opened up by Flagler’s railroad.
     This is the Eastward Ho! area, where 44% of the region’s population reside. In the next 20 years, this area’s population is expected to be disproportionately minority, younger, less educated, less employable and poorer than the population as a whole. The housing stock will be older, home ownership lower.
     It is predicted that by 2015 nearly four out of five new residents will settle outside the Eastward Ho! study area. The burden on public finances will be inordinate. More and more land will be lost to accommodate people. Workers will be farther from their jobs, driving up the cost of labor and transportation . . .


Piecemeal developments will fail to resemble communities. The deferred maintenance of older public improvements will further compound decay.

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