CPTED (Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design)

Landscape Architecture for Landscape Architects Forums GENERAL DISCUSSION CPTED (Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design)

  • This topic has 1 reply, 4 voices, and was last updated 14 years ago by nca.
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  • #171208
    nca
    Participant

    Is CPTED an indication that we’re not building strong, sustainable communites?

     

    See CPTED definition from Wikipedia:

     

    CPTED was originally coined and formulated by criminologist C. Ray Jeffery. A more limited approach, termed defensible space, was developed concurrently by architect Oscar Newman. Both men built on the previous work of Elizabeth Wood, Jane Jacobs and Schlomo Angel. Jeffery’s book, “Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design” came out in 1971, but his work was ignored throughout the 1970s. Newman’s book, “Defensible Space: – Crime Prevention through Urban Design” came out in 1972. His principles were widely adopted but with mixed success. The defensible space approach was subsequently revised with additional built environment approaches supported by CPTED. Newman represented this as CPTED and credited Jeffery as the originator of the CPTED term. Newman’s CPTED-improved defensible space approach enjoyed broader success and resulted in a reexamination of Jeffery’s work. Jeffery continued to expand the multi-disciplinary aspects of the approach, advances which he published, with the last one published in 1990. The Jeffery CPTED model is more comprehensive than the Newman CPTED model, which limits itself to the built environment. Later models of CPTED were developed based on the Newman Model, with Crowe’s being the most popular.

    As of 2004, CPTED is popularly understood to refer strictly to the Newman/Crowe type models, with the Jeffery model treated more as multi-disciplinary approach to crime prevention which incorporates biology and psychology, a situation accepted even by Jeffery himself. (Robinson, 1996). A revision of CPTED, initiated in 1997, termed 2nd Generation CPTED, adapts CPTED to offender individuality, further indication that Jeffery’s work is not popularly considered to be already a part of CPTED.

     

    I think models like CPTED exist because we’re designing and building communites not worth living in for more than a few years where families look at homes as investments rather than places to raise children and live life. Could the vagrant nature of many new subdivision communites be leading to higher rates of violent crime? Inturn, CPTED affects the way I can design a school site. Through the guidelines CPTED sets forth design of school sites become pretty banal, boring places for kids.

     

    I think we could do a better job of designing our built environment in a manner which encourages community and passive law enforcement (it takes a village to raise a child **) rather than relegate environmental design to security control.

    #171219
    nca
    Participant

    We could also talk about how lame HGTV is or how insufficient Webster’s definition of Landscape Architecture is in this thread.

    #171218
    Andrew Garulay, RLA
    Participant

    Is there a higher rate of violent crime in newer subdivision communities?

    #171217
    Mike G
    Participant

    I am not familiar with CPTED at all. But you bring up a few interesting subjects. Do we need to design better communities or do we need to establish better relationships with developers that commision subdivision design (pursuasive)? Or encourage our communities to develop more enforcable standards in design? I don’t know the answer at all.

    Another question: does good design encourage community and passive law or does it attract people who value that system?

    #171216
    Andrew Garulay, RLA
    Participant

    Things have definitely moved in this direction. I’m not in an urban environment, but I see several things that have changed over the years. One example is that all schools and playgrounds in my area have uplimbed existing trees and not planted shrubs in certain places in order to keep visibilty of the children and remove places for stalkers to hide or assault anyone.

    Recently, the town planner presented a request from the Chief of Police that dumpster enclosures be made of chainlink or picket fence so that they could not be used as hidind places. This was rather commical since it was at a historic commission meeting where they require the enclosures for aesthetic reasons, but the point is that the chief had learned about this at a seminar and now wanted to make it policy.

    #171215
    Keven Graham
    Participant

    You are right in that CPTED is not a new theory or process, but it is something LA’s should pay attention to. Not because we are building communities that are not worth living in. And not because community design is so dreadful that it causes crime. LA’s should pay attention to CPTED because there are real good basic design principles that not all designers use. I can not tell you how many times I review plans that have such bad lighting design in them or have design elements in a public space poorly located. Design that CPTED outlines. I would urge any LA to get to know what CPTED is about and think about it when you design public spaces. It does not have to be a limitation to design, but it can be a good basic principle to follow.

    #171214
    nca
    Participant

    I think each design endeavour should take into account the health, safety and well being of the end user, but I dont believe it should always drive the design. According to CPTED principles, many of the great public spaces we’ve come to appreciate could be deemed havens for criminals and degenerates.

    I may have miscommunicated the notion that I think new subdivisions are inherently dangerous places. What I’m saying is that there was a time, and it still is this way in many places, when kids walked to school together, parents could come knock on the childs classroom door, and if we wanted we could hide behind a big oak tree in a public park to read a book or do whatever frankly.

    There has been much written on the underlying value of public space as the manifestation of democracy and freedom. I strongly believe that public space, including sc hool sites (which may be private technically, dont know) should encourage the exercise of freedom even at a young age. In my mind, this means building hills, trees, places to sit or climb, run, and yes…hide.

    The correlation I am trying to make between CPTED, the homogenization of public space and NEW suburbs is basically that it seems we are choosing as citizens a pattern of community design which discourages basic community activity, ie walking to school in groups, knowing your neighbors, and building a home instead of just a house which could very arguably be correlated to the notion that we are living in a less and less safe world which requires a set of quantifiable guidenleines to homogenize and ‘nurf-ize’ any place outside our personal dwellings.

    My argument, topic, whatever isnt coming out of the blue however. I have been speaking candidly with several parents about schools, playgrounds, neighborhoods, and the ‘good ol’ days.’ Is the world really getting less safe? Are the criminals really becoming more brazen? Personally, I grew up going to school where I could walk freely into a deep and dark forest and disappear forever. The teachers couldnt really see that far to the back of the playground, and there was no fence. No one that I know of ever did. Why? Because they were afraid to get in trouble with their parents or teachers.

    Taking it to the logical extreme, if we followed CPTED’s guidelines for safe public space, wouldn’t we be creating lots of flat, barren places? Sounds like an architect with a penchant for ‘New Brutalism’ more than a basic concern for responsible design.

    #171213
    nca
    Participant

    Not necessarily, but look at where catastrophic violent crimes tend to occur, ie Columbine High School, who the ‘perpetrator’ was, and what their motive seemed to be.

    I’m not saying kids are angry because their parents raised them in a suburb, but I’m raising the question as a side issue as to whether or not there could be a correlation between the built environment and the way we act and the role of CPTED and how it came about.

    I dont think crime ‘rates’ would necessarily be relevant as there would certainly be more crime per capita in areas with more people, ie urban areas.

    #171212
    Andrew Garulay, RLA
    Participant

    So on the one hand our profession believes that we should follow the guidance of developed theories and standards, but on the other hand we are creating a homogenous landscape that we say we don’t like. I think that is a good point.

    That is why I am a big believer in diverse development from rural living, to urban cores, and the most maligned and most popular suburb.

    Like anything, it all starts with a thorough site analysis (including people) and clear understanding of your client. There is cookie cutter philosophy just as much as there is cookie cutter design.

    #171211
    Mike G
    Participant

    Yes the devil is in the detail, both in if we completely neglect to correct design flaws as well as totally sterilize human experience. I would say from my own observations that many newer communities although are very efficently laid out, have ample lighting, good open sight lines, well marked signage, but are also very sterile. People don’t fall in love with these communities, they just settle for them. Who knows where they will be in the long term. On the other hand I see many people become more personally and financially invested in communities that have a bit of grit in them, train tracks, marginalized spaces, etc. And I’m not refering to urban vs suburban developments, there are many good and bad cases for both.

    #171210
    nca
    Participant

    I disagree that the majority of new communites are ‘very efficient’ in terms of planning and design. I see a lot of the new suburban developments around here as being very inefficient in terms of land use. I agree that they are generally ‘safe’ in terms of the immediate safety threats involved in land design such as flood mitigation, sight lines, wayfinding, traffic, and general security and I also agree that these places tend to feel pretty vanilla.

    I like your notion that people dont ‘fall in love’ with many of these places, but tend to settle on them. It’s about our false sense of well being ingrained in the culture.

    #171209
    Mike G
    Participant

    OK Nick, I think I misspoke. You are right many developments across the nation are inefficent in terms of land use, for longer term sustainability. In terms of efficently converting a land-use from farm land to subdivision in a short time they are very efficient. This is where standard guidelines and processes enfore this cookie cutter approach that I think we’re all talking about. In many ways we have gotten ‘too good’ at building and laying out development.

    On another note William McDonough had a lot of interesting things to say about efficiency and ecological systems which kind of reminds me that I need to re-read cradle to cradle.

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