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The Future of the City

Broken Windows

Any history of influential articles published by The Atlantic must include "Broken Windows," a March 1982 cover story by James Q. Wilson and George Kelling about the relationship between police and neighborhood safety. The theory it proposed is credited by many (though not all) with reversing the lengthy crime epidemic that plagued New York City and other urban centers. Former NYPD Commissioner James Bratton called Mr. Wilson "my intellectual mentor." A head of the Justice Department's research arm once said that the piece "has had a greater impact than any other article on serious policing."

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