Christopher J. Bates

Christopher J. Bates is a fourth-year student in Criminology, Law and Society Department. Chris’ employs novel spatial datasets, such as Google Street View, Twitter, and Socrata, and interdisciplinary methodology, from economics, criminology, & geography, to research the community context of crime. In addition to his research interests, Chris has a passion for using technology to publicly communicate research findings through websites, videos, and interactive applications.


Business Improvement Districts

The current study employs novel large-scale datasets and methodological advances in geographic information systems to study the interdependence of people, place, and law. The study explores law’s impact on the securitization, resilience, and place-making of quasi-public spaces (e.g., sidewalks) through unique public-private legal entities, Business Improvement Districts (BIDS). The study first collected a census of BIDs throughout Southern California. The BID census was integrated with large-scale geographic datasets, such as business databases, property values databases, open city datasets, Google Street View imagery, & Twitter ambient population to study the regulation of quasi-public spaces across space and time. The impact of BIDs on securitization, resilience, and place-making of space are compared and contrasted to matched clusters of non-BID business. In addition to advancing the field of legal geography with novel methodology, the study demonstrates the vital role technology plays in organizing and communicating the values of community stakeholders.