Safe Place by Design: Urban Crime in Relation to Spatiality and Sociality


Different conceptions of crime in design practice, sociology, environmental psychology, and crimi- nology indicate an extensive articulation of crime in relation to the built environment and urban form in the city. Five decades of different studies on urban crime, crime prevention through environmental design, and fear of crime indicate an implicit and gradual movement from deterministic to possibilistic propositions in exploring the relationships between urban crime and environmental design both in theory and practice. Hence, the study firstly conducts a critical review on the issue of urban crime in relation to urban design, planning, and architecture disciplines. Categorizing different researches of urban crime in terms of their propositions and various dimensions of crime prevention through environmental design, the study proceeds to discuss the issue of crime in relation to spatiality and sociality in the city. Moreover, grounding the issue of safety in the context of place theory and avoiding deterministic and free-will approaches to urban crime, the study advocates for the necessity of mapping urban morphology, functional attributes, and spatial patterns in relation to socio-economic condition and demographic profiling. Thus, giving primacy to spatiality in relation to sociality and criticizing the absence of morphological mapping of urban crime, the study denotes the multi-scalar and multi-dimensional attributes of urban crime in relation to morphological, functional, perceptual, and social dimensions of a safe place by design.

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Kamalipour, H. , Faizi, M. and Memarian, G. (2014) Safe Place by Design: Urban Crime in Relation to Spatiality and Sociality. Current Urban Studies, 2, 152-162. doi: 10.4236/cus.2014.22015.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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