Residents rank low crime, good street lighting as rebuilding priorities

July 7, 2006

Madeline Vann
Phone: 504-247-1425

Low crime, good street lighting, absence of litter, walkable sidewalks/crosswalks, neighborhood grocery stores, playgrounds, affordable housing and good schools are the top priorities of New Orleans residents as they rebuild or decide whether to rebuild in the post-Katrina world, according to a survey released this week by The Prevention Research Center at Tulane University.

"Low crime is a priority across the city," says Tom Farley, director of the center and chair of the department of community health sciences at the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. "Crime can be prevented with smart environmental planning, such as well-lit streets. We hope this data will result in rebuilding plans that address concerns about crime and safety."

Researchers asked 1,073 New Orleanians who have returned, plan to return or are still undecided about returning to rate the importance of 24 neighborhood characteristics. The report includes the top ten priorities for each of the planning districts established by the city planning commission. According to Farley, responses varied a bit by district.

For example, residents of the Lower 9th Ward (district 8) were more likely to rate the presence of neighborhood health clinics as very important. The report is available at:

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Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5000