Urban Crime and Pattern Conceptions: Departuring from Spatiality


Various conceptions of pattern from biology, computer science, and mathematics to environmental design, psychology, and sociology give rise to the multiplicity of definitions, descriptions, applications, scales, and common features of spatial patterns in urban environments. Considering the complex relations between spatiality and sociality in place theory, the study tends to explore a growing body of knowledge in conceptions of urban crime and pattern. Placing the investigations of urban crime in relation to sociality and spatiality, the paper advocates for departuring from spatiality that is the common ground between urban crime and pattern conceptions. Hence, dismissing both deterministic and free-will approaches to environmental design and addressing the urban crime as a complex city problem, the study argues that adopting a kind of spatial knowledge and possibilistic approach is critical for both understanding and transforming the city in order to investigate the issue of urban crime in relation to spatial patterns.

Share and Cite:

Kamalipour, H. , Memarian, G. and Faizi, M. (2014) Urban Crime and Pattern Conceptions: Departuring from Spatiality. Open Journal of Social Sciences, 2, 441-450. doi: 10.4236/jss.2014.26051.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] Felson, M. (1994) Crime and Everyday Life: Insights and Implications for Society. Pine Forge Press, Thousand Oaks.
[2] Glasson, J. and Cozens, P. (2011) Making Communities Safer from Crime: An Undervalued Element in Impact Assessment. Environmental Impact Assessment Review, 31, 25-35.
[3] Cozens, P. (2007) Public Health and the Potential Benefits of Crime Prevention through Environmental Design. New South Wales Public Health Bulletin, 18, 232-237.
[4] Armitage, R. and Gamman, L. (2009) Sustainability via Security: A New Look. Built Environment, 35, 297-301.
[5] Du Plessis, C. (1999) The Links between Crime Prevention and Sustainable Development. Open House International, 24, 33-40.
[6] Dewberry, E. (2003) Designing out Crime: Insights from Eco-Design. Security Journal, 16, 51-62.
[7] Cozens, P. (2002) Sustainable Urban Development and Crime Prevention through Environmental Design for the British City. Towards an Effective Urban Environmentalism for the 21st Century. Cities, 19, 129-137.
[8] Scannell, L. and Gifford, R. (2010) Defining Place Attachment: A Tripartite Organizing Framework. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 30, 1-10.
[9] Kamalipour, H., Yeganeh Jeddi, A. and Alalhesabi, M. (2012) Predictors of Place Attachment in Urban Residential Environments: A Residential Complex Case Study. Procedia—Social and Behavioral Sciences, 35, 459-467.
[10] Hedayati Marzbali, M., Abdullah, A., Razak, N.A. and Maghsoodi Tilaki, M.J. (2012) Validating Crime Prevention through Environmental Design Construct through Checklist Using Structural Equation Modelling. International Journal of Law, Crime and Justice, 40, 82-99.
[11] Clarke, R.V. (2009) Situational Crime Prevention: Theoretical Background and Current Practice. In: Krohn, M.D., Lizotte, A.J. and Hall, G.P., Eds., Handbook on Crime and Deviance, Springer, Dordrecht, New York, 259-276.
[12] Crowe, T.D. (2000) Crime Prevention through Environmental Design: Applications of Architectural Design and Space Management Concepts. 2nd Edition, Butterworth-Heinemann, Oxford.
[13] Jeffery, C.R. (1996) Mental Health and Crime Prevention: A Public Health Model. Paper presented at the International Crime Prevention Practitioners Conference, Vancouver.
[14] Jeffery, C.R. (1971) Crime Prevention through Environmental Design. Sage Publications, Beverly Hills Calif.
[15] Robinson, M.B. (1996) The Theoretical Development of CPTED: 25 Years of Responses to C. Ray Jeffery. In: Laufer, W.S. and Adler, F., Eds., The Criminology of Criminal Law (Advances in Criminological Theory) (Vol. 8). Transaction Publishers, New Brunswick, 427-462.
[16] Brantingham, P.J. and Faust, F.L. (1976) A Conceptual Model of Crime Prevention. Crime and Delinquency, 22, 284-295.
[17] Wood, E. (1961) Housing Design: A Social Theory. Citizens’ Housing and Planning Council of New York, New York.
[18] Jacobs, J. (1961) The Death and Life of Great American Cities. Random House, New York.
[19] Newman, O. (1972) Defensible Space: Crime Prevention through Urban Design. Macmillan, New York.
[20] Brantingham, P.L. and Brantingham, P.J. (1993) Nodes, Paths and Edges: Considerations on the Complexity of Crime and the Physical Environment. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 13, 3-28.
[21] Brantingham, P.J. and Brantingham, P.L. (1984) Patterns in Crime. MacMillan, New York.
[22] Brantingham, P.J. and Brantingham, P.L. (1981) Environmental Criminology. Sage Publications, Beverly Hills.
[23] Clarke, R.V. (1980) Situational Crime Prevention: Theory and Practice. Harrow and Heston, Albany.
[24] Clarke, R.V. and Cornish, D.B. (1985) Modeling offenders’ Decisions: A Framework for Research and Policy. In: Tonry, M. and Morris, N., Eds., Crime and Justice: An Annual Review of Research, Vol. 6, University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 147-185.
[25] Fattah, E.A. (1993) The Rational Choice/Opportunity Perspectives as a Vehicle for Integrating Criminological and Victimological Theories. In: Clarke, R.V. and Felson, M., Eds., Routine Activity and Rational Choice: Advances in Criminological Theory, Vol. 5, Transaction Publishers, New Brunswick, 225-258.
[26] Cornish, D. and Clarke, R.V. (1986) The Reasoning Criminal: Rational Choice Perspectives on Offending. Springer-Verlag, The Hague.
[27] Cohen, L.E. and Felson, M. (1979) Social Change and Crime Rate Trends: A Routine Activity Approach. American Sociological Review, 44, 588-608.
[28] Maxfield, M.G. (1987) Lifestyle and Routine Activity Theories of Crime: Empirical Studies of Victimization, Delinquency, and Offender Decision-Making. Journal of Quantitative Criminology, 3, 275-282.
[29] Cozens, P., Saville, G. and Hillier, D. (2005) Crime Prevention through Environmental Design (CPTED): A Review and Modern Bibliography. Property Management, 23, 328-356.
[30] Ekblom, P. (2011) Deconstructing CPTED… and Reconstructing It for Practice, Knowledge Management and Research. European Journal on Criminal Policy and Research, 17, 7-28.
[31] Gamman, L. and Pascoe, T. (2004) Seeing Is Believing: Notes towards a Visual Methodology and Manifesto for Crime Prevention through Environmental Design. Crime Prevention and Community Safety Journal, 6, 9-18.
[32] Cozens, P. (2008) Crime Prevention through Environmental Design (CPTED) in Western Australia: Planning for Sustainable Urban Futures. International Journal of Sustainable Development and Planning, 3, 272-292.
[33] Lab, S.P. (2010) Crime Prevention: Approaches, Practices, and Evaluations. 7th Edition, Lexis Nexis Matthew Bender, New Providence.
[34] Lee, M. (2007) Inventing Fear of Crime: Criminology and the Politics of Anxiety. Willan Publishing, Cullompton, Devon.
[35] Ferraro, K.F. (1995) Fear of Crime: Interpreting Victimization Risk. State University of New York Press, New York.
[36] Minnery, J.R. and Lim, B. (2005) Measuring Crime Prevention through Environmental Design. Journal of Architectural and Planning Research, 22, 330-341.
[37] Marzbali, M.H., Abdullah, A., Razak, N.A. and Maghsoodi Tilaki, M.J. (2012) The Influence of Crime Prevention through Environmental Design on Victimisation and Fear of Crime. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 32, 79-88. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvp.2011.12.005
[38] Garofalo, J. (1979) Victimization and the Fear of Crime. Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency, 16, 80-97.
[39] Schneider, R.H. and Kitchen, T. (2002) Planning For Crime Prevention: A Transatlantic Perspective. Routledge, London.
[40] Chadee, D. and Ditton, J. (2005) Fear of Crime and the Media: Assessing the Lack of Relationship. Crime, Media, Culture, 1, 322-332.
[41] Colquhoun, I. (2004) Design out Crime: Creating Safe and Sustainable Communities. Architectural Press, Oxford, Burlington.
[42] Moon, D., Walker, A., Murphy, R., Flatley, J., Parfrement-Hopkins, J. and Hall, P. (2009) Perceptions of Crime and Anti-Social Behaviour: Findings from the 2008/09 British Crime Survey. Home Office, London.
[43] Ditton, J., Chadee, D., Farrall, S., Gilchrist, E. and Bannister, J. (2004) From Imitation to Intimidation. British Journal of Criminology, 44, 595-610.
[44] Coplien, J. (1996) Software Patterns. SIGS Books and Multimedia, New York.
[45] Salustri, F.A. (2001) Using Design Patterns to Promote Multidisciplinary Design. Proceedings of CSME International Conference on Multi-Displinary Design Engineering, Montreal, 21-22 November 2001.
[46] Alexander, C. (1979) The Timeless Way of Building. Oxford University Press, New York.
[47] Coad, P. (1992) Object-Oriented Patterns. Communications of the ACM, 35, 152-159.
[48] Schuler, D. (2008) Liberating Voices: A Pattern Language for Communication Revolution. MIT Press, Cambridge.
[49] Inam, A. (2008) Meaningful Urban Design: Teleological/Catalytic/Relevant. In: Kelbaugh, D. and McCullough, K.K., Eds., Writing Urbanism: A Design Reader, ACSA Architectural Education Series, Routledge, London, 14-23.
[50] Garcia, M. (2009) Prologue for a History, Theory and Future of Patterns of Architecture and Spatial Design. Architectural Design, 79, 6-17.
[51] Hensel, M. and Menges, A. (2009) Patterns in Performance-Orientated Design: An Approach towards Pattern Recognition, Generation and Instrumentalisation. Architectural Design, 79, 88-93.
[52] Berne, E. (1964) Games People Play: The Psychology of Human Relationships. Grove Press, New York.
[53] Eckert, C. and Clarkson, J. (2005) The Reality of Design. In: Clarkson, J. and Eckert, C., Eds., Design Process Improvement: A Review of Current Practice, Springer, London, 1-29.
[54] Krippendorff, K. (2007) Design Research, an Oxymoron? In: Michel, R., Ed., Design Research Now: Essays and Selected Projects, De Gruyter, Berlin, Boston, 67-80.
[55] Ball, P. (2009) Nature’s Patterns: Shapes, Vol. 1. Oxford University Press, Oxford, New York.
[56] Nijhout, H.F. (1997) Pattern and Process. In: Nijhout, H.F., Nadel, L. and Stein, D.L., Eds., Pattern Formation in the Physical and Biological Sciences, Vol. 5, Addison-Wesley, Reading, 269-297.
[57] Garcia, M. (2009) Reductive Engineering Patterns: An Interview with Hanif Kara. Architectural Design, 79, 66-73.
[58] McTighe, J. and Wiggins, G.P. (1999) Understanding by Design Handbook. Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, Alexandria.
[59] Bonsiepe, G. (2007) The Uneasy Relationship between Design and Design Research. In: Michel, R., Ed., Design Research Now: Essays and Selected Projects, De Gruyter, Berlin, Boston, 25-39.
[60] Ball, P. (1999) The Self-Made Tapestry: Pattern Formation in Nature. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
[61] Sternberg, E.M. (2009) Healing Spaces: The Science of Place and Well-Being. Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, Cambridge.
[62] Klinger, A. and Salingaros, N.A. (2000) A Pattern Measure. Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design, 27, 537-547.
[63] Blesser, B. and Salter, L.R. (2007) Spaces Speak, Are You Listening? Experiencing Aural Architecture. MIT Press, Cambridge.
[64] Ingold, T. (2000) The Perception of the Environment: Essays on Livelihood, Dwelling and Skill. Routledge, New York.
[65] Tarr, M.J. (2000) Pattern Recognition. In: Kazdin, A.E., Ed., Encyclopedia of Psychology, Vol. 6, American Psychological Association, Washington DC, 66-71.
[66] Golledge, R.G. (1991) Cognition of Physical and Built Environments. In: Gärling, T. and Evans, G.W., Eds., Environment, Cognition, and Action: An Integrated Approach, Oxford University Press, New York, 35-62.
[67] Grenander, U. and Miller, M.I. (2007) Pattern Theory: From Representation to Inference. Oxford University Press, New York.
[68] Kurzweil, R. (2005) The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology. Viking, New York.
[69] Kaplan, R. (1991) Environmental Description and Prediction: A Conceptual Analysis. In: Gärling, T. and Evans, G.W., Eds., Environment, Cognition, and Action: An Integrated Approach, Oxford University Press, New York, 19-34.
[70] Weinthal, L. (2008) Pattern. In: Erlhoff, M. and Marshall, T., Eds., Design Dictionary: Perspectives on Design Terminology, Birkhäuser Verlag, Basel, 293-294.
[71] Davies, N. and Jokiniemi, E. (2008) Dictionary of Architecture and Building Construction. Elsevier/Architectural Press, Oxford.
[72] Spyropoulos, T. (2009) Evolving Patterns: Correlated Systems of Interaction. Architectural Design, 79, 82-87.
[73] Harrison, L.G. (2011) The Shaping of Life: The Generation of Biological Pattern. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
[74] Riehle, D. and Züllighoven, H. (1996) Understanding and Using Patterns in Software Development. Theory and Practice of Object Systems, 2, 3-13.
[75] Grabow, S. (1983) Christopher Alexander: The Search for a New Paradigm in Architecture. Oriel Press, Stocksfield, Boston.
[76] Gamma, E. (1995) Design Patterns: Elements of Reusable Object-Oriented Software. Addison-Wesley, Boston.
[77] Taylor, M. (2009) Relentless Patterns: The Immersive Interior. Architectural Design, 79, 42-47.
[78] Terzidis, K. (2006) Algorithmic Architecture. 1st Edition, Architectural Press, Amsterdam, Boston.
[79] Rodemann, P.A. (2009) Psychology and Perception of Patterns in Architecture. Architectural Design, 79, 100-107.
[80] Coplien, J.O. and Schmidt, D.C. (1995) Pattern Languages of Program Design. Addison-Wesley, Reading.
[81] Weiss, M. (2003) Pattern-Driven Design of Agent Systems: Approach and Case Study. Proceedings of the 15th Inter- national Conference on Advanced Information Systems Engineering, Klagenfurt, 16-20 June 2003, 711-723.
[82] McGrath, B. and Marshall, V. (2009) New Patterns in Urban Design. Architectural Design, 79, 48-53.
[83] Swaffield, S. (2009) Tracing Change: Patterns in Landscape Architecture. Architectural Design, 79, 54-59.
[84] Hall, G.M. (1997) The Ingenious Mind of Nature: Deciphering the Patterns of Man, Society, and the Universe. Plenum Press, New York.
[85] Akkach, S. (2005) Cosmology and Architecture in Premodern Islam: An Architectural Reading of Mystical Ideas. State University of New York Press, Albany.
[86] Salingaros, N.A. (2005) Pattern Language and Interactive Design. In: Salingaros, N.A., Coward, L.A., West, B.J. and Bilsen, A., Eds., Principles of Urban Structure, Techne Press, Amsterdam, 211-220.
[87] Senge, P.M. (1990) The Fifth Discipline: The Art and Practice of the Learning Organization. Doubleday/Currency, New York.
[88] Harris, C.M. (2006) Dictionary of Architecture & Construction. McGraw-Hill, New York.
[89] Pottman, H. (2009) Geometry and New and Future Spatial Patterns. Architectural Design, 79, 60-65.
[90] Vincent, J. (2009) Biomimetic Patterns in Architectural Design. Architectural Design, 79, 74-81.
[91] Brawne, M. (2003) Architectural Thought: The Design Process and the Expectant Eye. Architectural Press, Oxford.
[92] Kamalipour, H., Dorrani Arab, A., Soltani, S., Naser Alavi, S. and Mirzaei, E. (2013) Understanding Continuity and Change in the Persian Vernacular Settlements: A Comparative Syntactic Analysis of Urban Public Spaces in a Case Study. Current Urban Studies, 1, 130-138.
[93] Kamalipour, H., Memarian, G. and Mousavian, S.M.F. (2012) Exploring the Myth of Four in the Persian Vernacular Architecture. The IASTE 2012: The Myth or Tradition, University of Oregon, Portland, Oregon, 4-7 October 2012.
[94] Kamalipour, H., Memarian, G., Faizi, M. and Mousavian, F. (2012) Formal Classification and Spatial Configuration in Vernacular Housing: A Comparative Study on the Zoning of the Reception Area in Traditional Houses of Kerman Province. Journal of Housing and Rural Environment, 31, 3-16.
[95] Memarian, G., Hashemi Toghroljerdi, S.M. and Kamalipour, H. (2012) The Impact of Religious and Behavioral Patterns on the Order of Vernacular Settlements: A Comparative Case Study. International Journal of Architecture Engineering & Urban Planning, 22, 91-99.
[96] Memarian, G., Hashemi Toghroljerdi, S.M. and Kamalipour, H. (2010) The Impact of Religious Culture on Organization of Houses: Comparative Study of Houses in Islamic, Zoroastrian, and Jewish Districts of Kerman. Iranian Journal of Cultural Research, 3, 1-25.
[97] Alexander, C., Davis, H., Martinez, J. and Corner, D. (1985) The Production of Houses. Oxford University Press, New York.
[98] Alexander, C., Ishikawa, S. and Silverstein, M. (1977) A Pattern Language: Towns, Buildings, Construction. Oxford University Press, New York.
[99] Alexander, C., Ishikawa, S. and Silverstein, M. (1968) A Pattern Language Which Generates Multi-Service Centers. Center for Environmental Structure, Berkeley.
[100] Alexander, C. (1970) Houses Generated by Patterns. Center for Environmental Structure, Berkeley.
[101] Hillier, B. (1996) Space Is the Machine: A Configurational Theory of Architecture. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, New York.
[102] Hillier, B. and Hanson, J. (1984) The Social Logic of Space. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, New York.
[103] Alexander, C. (2002) The Process of Creating Life: An Essay on the Art of Building and the Nature of the Universe. Center for Environmental Structure, Berkeley.
[104] Kimble, C. and Selby, W. (2000) An Interdisciplinary Study of Information Systems: Christopher Alexander and IS Failure. Proceedings of 5th UKAIS Conference, Cardiff, 26-28 April 2000, McGraw Hill.
[105] O’Callaghan, A. (2000) Patterns for Architectural Praxis. Proceedings of Euro PLoP, Irsee.
[106] Westermann, C. (2006) Who Plays the Nightingale? In: Ascott, R., Ed., Engineering Nature: Art & Consciousness in the Post-Biological Era, Intellect, Bristol, Portland, 189-193.
[107] Appleton, B. (1997) Patterns and Software: Essential Concepts and Terminology. Object Magazine Online, 3, 20-25.
[108] Kamalipour, H., Mansouri Kermani, Z. and Houshmandipanah, E. (2014) Collaborative Design Studio on Trial: A Conceptual Framework in Practice. Current Urban Studies, 2, 1-12.
[109] Kamalipour, H. and Biglari, S. (2013) Implementing Patterns and Pattern Languages in Collaborative Design Pedagogy: A Case Study in Architectural Education. The IESC 2013: The Young Teachers of the Future Discuss Teaching Profession at Maltepe University, Istanbul, 2-3 May 2013.
[110] Alexander, C. (1964) A City Is Not a Tree. Architectural Forum, 122, 58-61.
[111] Salingaros, N.A. (2000) The Structure of Pattern Languages. Architectural Research Quarterly, 4, 149-162.
[112] Hillier, B. (2008) Space and Spatiality: What the Built Environment Needs from Social Theory. Building Research & Information, 36, 216-230.
[113] Biddulph, M. (2007) Introduction to Residential Layout. Butterworth-Heinemann, Oxford, Burlington.
[114] Lang, J.T. (1987) Creating Architectural Theory: The Role of the Behavioral Sciences in Environmental Design. Van Nostrand Reinhold Co., New York.
[115] Kamalipour, H., Memarian, G., Faizi, M. and Mousavian, S.M.F. (2013) Evaluating CPTED Measures in Historical Urban Public Places: A Syntactic Analysis of a Case Study. Journal of Basic and Applied Scientific Research, 3, 795-805.
[116] Kamalipour, H., Faizi, M. and Memarian, G. (2014) Safe Place by Design: Urban Crime in Relation to Spatiality and Sociality. Current Urban Studies, 2, in Press.
[117] Hillier, B. (2004) Can Streets Be Made Safe? Urban Design International, 9, 31-45.

[118] Hillier, B. and Shu, S. (2000) Crime and Urban Layout: The Need for Evidence. In: Ballintyne, S., Pease, K. and McLaren, V., Eds., Secure Foundations: Key Issues in Crime Prevention, Crime Reduction and Community Safety, Institute of Public Policy Research, London, 224-248.

Copyright © 2023 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.