RGK Center Director Dr. David W. Springer currently serves as the Principal Investigator of Restore Rundberg, a three-year, $1 million grant from the Department of Justice to improve the quality of life, health, safety, education, and well-being of individuals living and working in the Rundberg neighborhood of Austin. As the research partner to the Initiative, UT's role is to complete criminal justice-related assessment and evaluation and research projects that will advance public safety and inform the public engagement process.
In 2012, the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Justice Programs Byrne Criminal Justice Innovation Program, selected Austin as one of 15 cities nationwide to receive federal funding in an effort to address issues of neighborhood crime and distress. The Byrne funding, part of the Obama administration’s Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative, was awarded to the Austin Police Department to support community-based planning efforts to reduce crime in the Rundberg area of North Austin. The overall goals of the effort are to use data-driven research in developing creative solutions to crime reduction and comprehensive strategies for community capacity building.
A disproportionate amount of criminal activity coupled with poverty, disinvestment, and unemployment within the Rundberg neighborhood discourage redevelopment and economic growth. Within Rundberg, 95% of those enrolled in school are considered economically disadvantaged, 59% have limited English proficiency, and 75% are identified as at-risk for dropping out.
Restore Rundberg is a partnership between the community, the Austin Police Department, and the UT research team headed by Dr. Springer. By focusing on criminal hot-spot areas within Rundberg, this multidisciplinary team utilizes innovative methodologies to reduce crime and to engage community members in voicing their needs and considerations for the future of their neighborhood development.
From Professional Development: The International Journal of Continuing Social Work Education, V18: N3 - Special Edition: Restore Rundberg
- Restoring Rundberg: A Community-Research Partnership
David W. Springer, Michael Lauderdale, Kyran Fitzgerald and Donald Baker
- Resident Feedback on the Restore Rundberg Community Survey
Yessenia Castro, Katie Casstevens, Barbara Garcia and David W. Springer
- Restore Rundberg: Targeting Hot Spots
- Restore Rundberg: Developing an Asset Inventory
Kyle A. Pitzer
- LaunchPad Photovoice Project: Rundberg Through the Eyes of Middle School Students