Monday, 22 November 2010

Assignment 3 - Looking up, Looking down

Assessment 3!
Design against Crime / Crime Prevention
In assignment two I looked at the chapter: The Power of Context which focuses mainly on Crime in New York City Subways. I then decided to look more into detail about how design can prevent crime and vandalism in areas. For example re-vamping council housing estates, to make a more pleasant and safer living environment for residents. This links to “The Broken Windows Theory” and how it is physiologically proven that this theory reduces crime rates.

 Braithwaite J, (1989), Crime, Shame and Reintegration, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press

This book successfully links to my topic to reduce crime rates, as it focuses on the criminological theory. It looks into both professional crimes such as burglary down to the smallest of petty crime. Braithwaite believes that it is down to shaming which make some societies have higher crime rates than others. Shaming can work well in certain areas such as if you act with respect towards the offender, you can form a sort of social control over them and hopefully shame them into what they are doing is wrong.  But shaming can also be seen as counterproductive, meaning that crime problems worsening.  I think this book is very successful as I can see this theory being put into other fields.

Cook, Phillip J. And Duke, U., 2009. Crime Control in the City: A Research-Based Briefing on Public and Private Measures, Cityscape: A Journal of Policy Development and Research 11 1, pp. 53 – 79.

High crime rates in the community area create a great burden against local residents who cannot afford to move area. Tackling crime control should definitely be looked more into by policymakers. Crime includes: vandalism, graffiti, violence, theft and drugs. When these areas are tackled greater opportunities open up for the neighborhood. The journal looks into how the statistics of crime rates fluctuate all the time and how policies and services play an important role in crime prevention.

Donnelly, P.G., And Majka, T.J., 1998. Residents' Efforts at Neighborhood Stabilization: Facing the Challenges of Inner-City Neighborhoods, Sociological Forum, Vol. 13, No. 2, pp.189-213.

This paper examines the response of residents, based on the sudden increase of disorder, drugs and crime. It looks at the bravery of residents of the neighborhood and how they all grouped together in developing a stabilized plan to reduce crime in their estate. The journal encourages participation, activism and commitment of residents and proves the social movement, by successful organizations

Foster, S. Giles-Corti, B. And Knuiman, M., 2010. Neighbourhood design and fear of crime: A social-ecological examination of the correlates of residents' fear in new suburban housing developments, Health and Place 16: (6) pp. 1156-1165.
The study explores the connection between neighborhood design and residents’ fear of crime in suburban housing areas. Both primary reports and second hand data were collected as part of a project called: the RESIDential Environments (RESIDE) Project. They came to the conclusion that people feel a lot safer in a pedestrian area with a higher density and more accessible space to get to shops etc. The article speaks about fear and how it creates anxiety and can affect someone’s mental health. For example small things such as litter, vandalism and graffiti can all heighten insecurities and prevent residents from wanting to go out into their own neighborhood and socialise


Milke, M., 1997. Neatness RULES! , Alberta Report / Newsmagazine 06/30/97, Vol. 24 Issue 29, pp.11.

This paper focuses on erasing graffiti and the hopes that it reduces youth crime. Naming graffiti artists “taggers”, Milke believed that “taggers” shouldn’t be allowed to admire their work and it should be removed as soon as possible. The area of crime prevention in the journal also links back to the “Broken windows theory” - buy scrubbing areas clean of graffiti and creating a nicer environment, people will avoid making it dirty again. By doing this in New York Subways, crime rates dropped by 64%.

Paul Stollard. (1991). Crime Prevention Through Housing Design. London: New York: E & FNSpon, p.90.

This very interesting book has a lot to do with what i am looking into. It is really specifically made for architects and housing managers on designing to deter crime. Even though different estates have different problems and the ways to solve them... the process which leads to solutions being made is the same. Stollard reviews different theories to prevent crime through design. It also shows how to apply these solutions in the design process.

Straw, J., 1995. Straw and Order, New Statesman & Society 9/15/95, Vol. 8 Issue 370, pp.18.

This observation, speaks mainly of the importance of tackling crime and how that looking closely into people’s characteristics and behaviours, can prevent crime escalating into something more serious. As I am focusing on how design can reduce crime rates, this paper seemed very successful in helping me as it mentions manly examples where this has work e.g. cleaning up graffiti, unemployment, homelessness, better societies and education for youth. It also looks into the important issue of how crime is linked to politics!

Welsh, B.C., 2010. Reconceptualising public area surveillance and crime prevention: Security guards, place managers and defensible space. SECURITY JOURNAL 23 (4), pp. 299 - 319

“It is important assess the effectiveness of the full range of surveillance measures that are used to prevent crime in public places.”
CCTV and better street lighting are just some of the simple things that could be done to reduce crime rates. “Surveillance measures” also include security guards, place mangers and better street spacing. There is evidence shown in this paper that by improving these areas, crime can be reduced. This journal can really help me in my studies by reducing crime by design!

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