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Wellbeing: A Complete Reference Guide, Volume II, Wellbeing and the Environment by Elizabeth Burton, Rachel Cooper, Cary L. Cooper

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18

Crime and the Urban Environment

The Implications for Wellbeing

Caroline L. Davey and Andrew B. Wootton

University of Salford, U.K.

Introduction

Crime is considered in the literature on wellbeing, and crime and security-related criteria have been directly incorporated into a number of the wellbeing measures that have emerged.

First implemented in the United States in the 1990s, the Genuine Progress Indicator (GPI) measure includes the “cost of crime” as a potential harmful effect of economic activity (Talberth, Cobb & Slattery, 2007). This is in contrast to the purely economic measurement of gross domestic product (GDP), which is actually boosted by crime.

Each year, Americans incur nearly $40 billion in crime related costs in the form of lost and damaged property and expenditures on locks, alarms, and security systems. GDP counts these needless expenditures as an economic gain, implying that crime is good for economic growth.

Talberth et al. (2007)

In 2006, the International Institute of Management proposed a Gross National Happiness (GNH) metric to monitor socioeconomic development: a measure to act as an alternative to the narrower gross national product (GNP) metric. The GNH 2.0 metric tracks seven socioeconomic development areas. “Social satisfaction” is indicated by direct survey and statistical measurement of social factors including discrimination, safety, complaints of domestic conflicts, lawsuits, and crime rates (http://www.iim-edu.org/polls/grossnationalhappinesssurvey.htm). ...

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