This is an interesting working paper by a team of researchers at NYU’s Marron Institute of Urban Management. The paper examines the relationship between urban density and organized violence, first in Colombia and then within a sample of 200 global cities.
The finding is that organized violence actually increases the population density of the surrounding areas within a city because it creates a kind of “invisible wall” – effectively a no-go zone.
This makes perfect intuitive sense, but it’s not something I ever considered. Geography and other natural constraints typically drive density. Think about the island of Manhattan. But so too can invisible walls.
For the full working paper, click here.