Can Losing Letters and Keys Teach Us About Neighborhood Investment?

Today, our goal was to brainstorm our urban research topic and data collection methods. I brought in several examples of projects to discuss. After much constructive debating, we decided to do an updated version of Stanley Milgram’s lost letter experiment in order to measure neighborhood investment. We’ll drop letters and keys all over the city of Chicago and measure the return rates. While we’re out dropping letters and keys, we’ll survey other characteristics that the students decided might indicate neighborhood investment – graffiti, lawn condition, abandoned buildings, vacant lots, and walker frequency. We’re very excited to get started!