2019 - 2022, Complete

Busy Streets: Dose-Response Analysis

Affiliated Project

Learn more about the project “Busy Streets: Dose-Response Analysis” presented by Jesenia Pizarro at the Firearm Safety Among Children and Teens (FACTS) symposium, October 21, 2019.

This study examines the type and intensity of physical remediation (e.g. mowing, community gardens, clean-ups) associated with reductions in youth firearm violence. The study will use a dose-response method to analyze physical remediation activities and the potential social factors that may influence the effects of these activities for reducing youth firearm violence and injury. Results from analyses in this pilot study will be useful for future large scale studies that examine the dose of physical remediation and social factors necessary for creating safe and empowered neighborhoods (e.g. busy streets) and reducing youth firearm injury and incidents.


This study is designed to study different ways of operationalizing and assessing dose to determine if dose is related to various youth firearm related outcomes. It is guided by Busy Streets Theory (BST) and the Greening Hypothesis (GH), which suggest that remediating empty, overgrown, and abandoned property parcels will reduce youth firearm violence and increase positive neighborhood interaction on the block where it is located.

The project team will first operationalize a measure of Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) dosage before examining three issues to test a dose-response relationship to study if more remediation is related to less youth firearm violence: 1) type of remediation (e.g., mowing vs planting a garden); 2) proximity and concentration of remediated properties (e.g., number of parcels remediated on a block); and 3) the interaction of physical and social factors (e.g., resident led greening) associated with remediation. The team does not know of no researchers who have examined a dose-response relationship of any kind for environmental-design focused firearm violence interventions. Outcome variables include youth firearm violence victimization and injury (using police incident and injury data from the emergency department). Several researchers (including collaborators on this pilot project) have reported that areas around properties that have been remediated in some way (i.e., greening) have fewer assaults and other crime compared to areas with no remediation. These studies are limited, however, because they did not include comparative analyses of type or intensity of change, or only included analysis of single parcels at a time. In addition, few researchers have examined firearm related outcomes specifically. Understanding the types and intensities of remediation that may be most protective for youth firearm injury will be a significant step for promoting the most intentional and effective use of resources for remediation.  The specific aims of this project are as follows:

Aim 1: To operationalize, develop and test measures of dosage of neighborhood property remediation interventions (CPTED activity) that take into account the type and intensity of remediation activities implemented.

Aim 2: To explore an association between dosage of remediation activities and youth firearm injury and police incidents.

Aim 3: To examine the independent and synergistic contributions of physical CPTED change and resident engagement in remediation (social CPTED) for youth firearm injury and police incidents.

The research team has data on how many property parcels were improved and what type of treatments (CPTED principles, type of mow) were implemented. Additionally, the team has data indicating which parcels were mowed by professionals and which parcels were mowed through engaged residents groups for 10,000 parcels in the City of Flint. These data will enable the team to examine how physical remediation and community engagement may work independently or synergistically to reduce gun-related violence among youth. Coding systems will need to be developed, measured and tested for all the dose variables.

Project Team

Marc Zimmerman, PhD
Jason Goldstick, PhD
Justin Heinze, PhD
Bernadette Hohl, PhD, Co-Investigator
Jesenia Pizarro, PhD, Co-Investigator
Jonathan Jay, JD, DrPH, Co-Investigator
Rebecca Karb, MD, PhD, Co-Investigator


National Institutes of Health, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)


Arizona State University

Boston University

New Jersey Center on Gun Violence Research

Rutgers University

Bright Star Community Outreach, Chicago

Detroit Health Department