Date of Award

Spring 5-2013

Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program

Urban and Regional Planning


Planning and Urban Studies

Major Professor

Marla Nelson

Second Advisor

Renia Ehrenfeucht

Third Advisor

Robert Dupont


This study adds to the limited literature on residentially-focused special taxing districts by addressing three questions on crime prevention and security districts in New Orleans. 1) Do the districts share common characteristics? 2) Do they act as a tool to retain residents? 3) Do they represent what A.O. Hirschman would characterize as “exit,” “voice” or neither, and, as such, how do they effect the city’s potential for service improvement?

The findings show that the districts tend to be wealthier and whiter, and to have higher homeownership rates and home values than the city at large. However, exceptionalities in three of the newer districts suggest greater diversification. This could represent a shift in the perceived role of neighborhood organizations in meeting residents’ service needs.

This study also finds that districts act as mechanisms to retain and, in some cases, placate residents who might otherwise be influential constituencies demanding improved municipal services.


The University of New Orleans and its agents retain the non-exclusive license to archive and make accessible this dissertation or thesis in whole or in part in all forms of media, now or hereafter known. The author retains all other ownership rights to the copyright of the thesis or dissertation.