Urban Dynamics Blog

Shootings happen in Minneapolis?

By Matt Johnson

Yes! They do! We’ll return to this reality in a moment.

My research involves systems behaviors. What do I mean by this? What I mean is systems behave in very interesting ways. But perhaps I should explain what I mean by “system” first.

In theory, a system is built out of elements. In the case of cities, this would include residents, businesses, non-profits, other organizations, and of course local government. And this is not an exhaustive list. These elements, that I previously mentioned, interact with each other all day long and every day. Yes! This happens all the time.

2016-12-19Now perhaps you view this as being impossible but think about it this way. You interact with the usual people you interact with every day, correct? But do you see everyone else not in your immediate vicinity? No! Of course you don’t. But to be fair, this isn’t probably something you think about much anyway. While you’re sitting at your desk from 9 to 5, there is an entire world inside your city taking place, including both positive and negative experiences.

In the case of Minneapolis, you can’t observe these negative experiences taking place, even though they are. And the negative experiences that is being referred to are happening in the form of shootings on the north side of the city.

If you’re familiar with this blog and my research, you know that North Minneapolis has been a focus of my research. You know that I’ve highlighted the concentrations of adverse socio-economic factors, although I haven’t completely shared what this means. But I do know what it means, and its significant.

For example, the area where these adverse events are happening in the form of shootings, sounds of shots fired, and shotspotter activation is an area that already suffers from the highest unemployment rates in the city. This area also suffers from the greatest concentration of foreclosures and condemned and vacant buildings, and the lowest education levels. Politically, this is the 5th Ward of Minneapolis.

And as I’ll illustrate from time to time, this pattern is a regularly, weekly occurrence.


Matt Johnson is a writer for The Systems Scientist and the Urban Dynamics blog; and is a mathematical scientist. He has also contributed to the Iowa State Daily and Our Black News.

You can connect with him directly in the comments section, and follow him on Twitter or on Facebook

You can also follow The Systems Scientist on Twitter or Facebook as well. 




Copyright ©2016 – The Systems Scientist

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