A new publication on public safety, Vital City, launched this week, featuring articles from across disciplines. In an introduction, co-editors Greg Berman and Elizabeth Glazer explain why they chose gun violence, saying that, "If safety is the bedrock of urban life, the gunplay is the depth charge that can destroy it," The Trace reports. Berman and Glazer say, “We hope to chart a course that sidesteps the paralyzing either/or between those who argue that we need to default to police to solve our public safety problems by force and those who argue that police have no role to play in making our neighborhoods safer.”
Articles in the first issue touch on the failure to confront urban inequality as a driver in neighborhoods being trapped in generational violence; young people’s cynicism about the legal system and why they choose to carr guns, and the promise of community-led interventions and the ongoing struggle to fund them and evaluate their effects. In one essay, criminologists Anna Harvey and Jennifer Doleac review the evidence and argue for the violence-reducing potential of things like youth summer jobs programs, neighborhood beautification, and expanding short-term financial assistance.