04 Oct City Planning: Built Environment and Personal Safety
City Planning – Built Environment and Personal Safety
Many researches indicate that real and perceived dangers of personal safety restrict an individual’s lifestyles and movement. But still we find that a significant portion of our physical activity like walking, cycling, and physical exercise takes place in the public environment of our neighborhood. Now, is there any link between personal safety and the built environment? Which public policy or urban planning interventions can instill a sense of safety in your neighborhood? Which elements of the urban design and development discourage criminal activity? Can we thwart crime by changing the built environment of our neighborhood?
Crime and the Built Environment
Today, interest in the link between the physical environment and crime is growing because of increasing crime incidents. The idea of crime prevention through well-thought-out urban design and development plan is attracting particular attention today. This is because of the growing pace of urbanization. Modern city designs in many cases are typically undermining people’s ability to observe public streets. People are restricted to their individual housing units, thus breaking down informal social control of criminal activity. Many city designers view natural surveillance (“eyes on the streets”) as a good deterrent of criminal activities in your neighborhood.
Thus, crime and the physical/built environment are related in an observable and controllable manner. The physical or built environment exerts a direct influence on criminal activities in your neighborhood. It does so by marking territories, increasing or decreasing accessibility by creating or eliminating boundaries and circulation networks, and by facilitating surveillance by the individuals, groups and the police.
Safetipin provides information about infrastructure and other physical attributes of a place to promote safety for women and other groups. SafetiPin mobile safety app facilitates public policy and urban planning interventions to instill a sense of safety in your neighborhood.