Designed features can make cities safer, but getting it wrong can be plain frightening


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“City planners and designers can help make spaces safer in many ways. One strategy is known as Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED, pronounced “sep-ted”). This approach is based on the idea that specific built and social environmental features can deter criminal behaviour.
Breaking up smooth surfaces to prevent skateboarders (like this makeover in Melbourne’s Lincoln Square) is hostile architecture. Sasha Petrova, CC BY-SA
Strategies can be as simple as good maintenance, like rapidly removing graffiti, which can deter some offenders.
Another method is to build houses, streets, transport hubs and retail settings in a way that promotes visibility. This can include making windows and entrances of buildings face each other and clever use of lighting. The enhanced visibility this creates is known as “passive surveillance”, which can deter some offenders.”

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