Re-operationalizing 'open-country': Introducing a place-level geography for the study of rural crime

Jeremy Porter, Joel Capellan, Frank Howell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The proper operationalization of urban and rural is extremely important to our understanding of the impacts of specific ecological context on human behavior. However, even with the ever-improving definitional advancements, our understanding of these community-level concepts, in regards to a comprehensive geographic space, is still somewhat unsatisfying. This article aims to contribute to this issue through the introduction of a 'place' based geography using current Census geographies in the creation of a unified geographic landscape of the contiguous United States. The new place-level geography is superior to previous operational approaches to identifying urban and rural communities in that it allows for the examination of both without the additional variation inherent in larger geographies and providing a more comprehensive coverage than smaller geographies. Furthermore, this approach allows for the development of a unique, but phenomenologically meaningful, sub-county geography that substantively holds meaning in conceptualizing rural and urban ecological context.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)20-32
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Applied Geospatial Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)


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