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Leveraging Territoriality to Maintain Boston’s Neighborhoods: A Research -Policy Collaboration Daniel Tumminelli O’Brien1 1- Radcliffe Institute for Advanced

Study, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA Territoriality is a common tendency across the animal kingdom and is readily apparent in humans. One manifestation of territoriality is custodianship, or the motivation to upkeep a space. The City of Boston has sought to leverage the custodial tendencies of residents to assist in the maintenance of local infrastructure. This is centered around a system that receives and compiles all requests for service (e.g., street cleaning, report of a pothole). This talk presents an ongoing collaboration with the policymakers leading this effort to study patterns in custodianship and to refine policies regarding it. Analyses of the report databases indicate that those reporting issues tend to do so within a narrow home range, illustrating the spatial limits of custodianship. A public messaging experiment examined this further by comparing the effect of global advertisements, referencing Boston, and localized advertisements, referencing a particular neighborhood. Results suggest that the latter were more effective.