Creating Safe Places to Live Through Design

A multi-year study funded by the Home Office investigated the design features of high density urban housing developments and identified where poor design can lead to an increase in crime, anti-social behaviour and neighbour disputes. Three areas of the UK were analysed: Greater Manchester, Kent and West Midlands. The researchers conducted site visits to map design features and layouts, examined recorded crime, and interviewed neighbourhood policing teams and crime prevention design advisors. Design features which were identified as key to watch out for were:

– large rear parking courts
– paths and spaces that are not overlooked
– poorly-designed corner properties
– relying on gating a development as the only means to deliver security
– ‘leaky’ cul-de-sacs which have pedestrian access between them


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