September 9 | 2020

Do investments in low-income neighborhoods produce objective change in health-related neighborhood conditions?

Stephanie Brooks Holliday, Wendy Troxel, Ann Haas, Madhumita Bonnie Ghosh-Dastidar, Tiffany L Gary-Webb, Rebecca Collins, Robin Beckman, Matthew BairdTamara Dubowitz.

 Health Place. 2020 Jul;64:102361. doi: 10.1016/j.healthplace.2020.102361. Epub 2020 Jun 15.


This study examined the effect of neighborhood investments on neighborhood walkability, presence of incivilities, and crime in two low-income, primarily African American neighborhoods in Pittsburgh, USA. During the study period, one of the neighborhoods (the intervention neighborhood) received substantially more publicly-funded investments than a demographically matched comparison neighborhood. Comparisons between the neighborhoods showed a significant difference-in-difference for all three outcomes. The intervention neighborhood experienced significantly more change related to improved walkability and decreased incivilities. However, the control neighborhood experienced better crime-related outcomes. Analyses that focused on resident proximity to investments found similar results. This highlights the nuances of neighborhood investment, which is important to consider when thinking about public policy.