Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
Geography and Earth Sciences
Arson has economic, structural and psychological repercussions. As a crime with such wide- ranging consequences, it has received little academic attention. Our goal in this research is to highlight how arson can be understood from two perspectives: the anthropogenic environment and the physical environment. Study one employs a generalized linear mixed regression model to explore the relationship between street network permeability and the incidence of deliberately- set fire events in the City of Toronto. This research aims to highlight the important influence that navigation of the built environment has on crime, specifically arson, in addition to the social characteristics of place that support criminal behaviour. We hypothesize that neighbourhoods with more permeable (less complex) street networks are more likely to be affected by deliberately-set fire events in the case of Toronto. Also using a multivariate regression model, study two aims to highlight the role of heat aggression on the incidence of fire-setting behaviour in the same study region. We consider fire events occurring between the months of May through September, and particularly those occurring during extended heat-wave conditions. We hypothesize that prolonged episodes of high temperatures will have a positive relationship with arson events. This research highlights that two conceivably different forms of geography (anthropogenic and physical) can impact that same phenomena: criminal fire-setting behaviour.
Kielasinska, Ewa, "The Geography of Urban Arson in Toronto" (2012). Open Access Dissertations and Theses. Paper 6563.
McMaster University Library
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