According to a list released last week by Forbes, DC is no longer one of the top 10 most dangerous cities in America. The yearly list ranks U.S. cities with a population over 200,000 according to their violent crime rate as reported by the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports database; this year, DC came in 16th.
So how did DC, a city that has been one of the top 10 most dangerous cities for several years, manage to escape the list this year?
According to a separate Forbes article, gentrification, tax breaks, and urban reforms are responsible for the drop in crime and homicides. (In the early 1990’s, the city was racking up 500 homicides a year; this year, DC is on track to have 100.)
John Roman, a senior fellow at the Urban Institute and a contributor to the article also explains that the expansion of the federal government and lobbying and consulting firms help to drive-up incomes in the area. Additionally, the article points to the demise of Prince George County’s high-rise public housing towers, which were replaced with garden-style apartments.
According to the article, “gentrification can be a brutal process for the residents who are priced out of their neighborhoods… but in DC, three to four square miles went from brownfields to upscale condos.” Many examples of this change can be seen in the Borderstan area with the revitalization of the 14th Street, U Street and Shaw areas.
Detroit, St. Louis and Oakland were the top three most dangerous cities on the list.