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14 Crim. Just. Pol'y Rev. 3 (2003)

handle is hein.journals/cjpr14 and id is 1 raw text is: 















Violent Times: A Case Study

of the Ybor City Historic District


Terry A. Danner
Saint Leo University



   This case analysis of an urban historic district tracks the demographic, economic,
   and public policy trends that influenced its violent crime volumes. Constructs from
   routine activities theory and environmental criminology are used to explain these
   crime trends. Findings are (a) macrostructuralforces influenced crime volumes; (b)
   populations drawn to the area's nightlife had an impact on crime; (c) considering the
   number of people who visited the area, the victimization risks there were greater than
   was averagefor all of Tampa; (d) the demographics of the areas surrounding the dis-
   trict had less impact on crime there than has been assumed; and (e) the high density of
   bars facilitated the occurrence of violent crime beyond what would have been gener-
   ated with other land uses. Recommendations are presentedfor guiding the formation
   of public policy that will affect the future crime trends in the district and may also be
   generalized to similar areas undergoing economic revitalization.


   Keywords: economic revitalization; routine activities theory; crime trends; urban
             planning


The Ybor City Historic District (YCHD), located in the heart of Tampa,
Florida, has become an inner city revitalization miracle; however, at the
same time, it has endured rising levels of violent crime. According to the
Ybor City Development Corporation (2001), since 1990, 250 new busi-
nesses have opened, $200 million in public and private investments have
been made, 2,500 new jobs have been created, and more than 1 million
square feet of building renovation has taken place. On the other hand,
according to data collected by the Tampa Police Department (data provided
by Officer Tom Thayer in the Technology Unit of the Administrative Divi-
sion, 2002), during that same period, the frequencies of robbery, aggravated
assault, and simple assault reached all-time highs. One might conclude that
the success of this economic revitalization has come at the cost of a decrease
in social order and an increase in human misery. There are various opinions

Criminal Justice Policy Review, Volume 14, Number 1, March 2003 3-29
DOI: 10.1177/0887403402250926
© 2003 Sage Publications

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