Using Land Policy to Improve Population Health

Christina Stacy, Brady Meixell, Jacob Lowy, Rachel L.J. Thornton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We examine whether zoning can increase health equity and population health by assessing a new zoning ordinance in the City of Baltimore that forced 76 liquor stores in residential areas to relocate, close, or convert to an approved use. To do so, we undertake a baseline assessment of neighborhoods with affected liquor stores, and predict the potential impact of the zoning change by estimating the impact of previous closures and openings of liquor stores on neighborhood crime in Baltimore using a spatial Poisson random trend fixed effects model. We find that affected stores are concentrated in high poverty, majority black neighborhoods with high vacancy rates, and that liquor store closings are associated with a statistically significant reduction in violent crime on the block group in question with no negative spillover affects onto the nearby block groups.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)887-898
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Urban Health
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2020


  • Cities
  • Crime
  • Health
  • JEL Classification: R0, I10, R140
  • Zoning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Urban Studies
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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