Basic Crime Information
Types of Crime
Environmental Criminology
Heirarchy of Crime
Determiners

CPTED Crime Analysis

Design Principles
Design Guidelines
Design Examples
Origins of CPTED
Links

Welcome to The Design Centre For CPTED Vancouver

CPTED is an acronym for Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design.

Definition – “To enhance the urban environment through design that reduces opportunities for crime and nuisance activity”

We are a non-profit organization based in Vancouver, British Columbia with a mission to provide a resource for CPTED design and concepts, and increase awareness and education of this approach based on environmental criminology.

The links at the left take you directly to major sections of the site. This page provides a brief synopsis of each of the sections:

Basic Crime Information
Types of Crime
Environmental Criminology
Heirarchy of Crime Determiners
CPTED Crime Analysis
Design Principles
Design Guidelines
Design Examples
Origins of CPTED
Literature References
Projects and Consulting Services
Training and Courses

Basic Crime Information

Provides a summary and translation of academic research in the field of environmental criminology in a useable format for design professionals. Vast areas of research have been undertaken in the field of environmental criminology in Britain, Europe, Canada, United States, Asia, India and South Africa since the 1960’s. A great deal of work has also been done in Vancouver. This has been summarized into understandable concepts such as 'motivations for crime', 'crime is a rare event', 'few people take part in crime', and 'the who of crime'.

Types of Crime

Provides a summary of research in the field of environmental criminology on crime and nuisance activity, specifically by crime type: theft from auto, theft of auto, other car crime, break and enter, burglary, robbery, mischief and vandalism. Some research was done in Vancouver.

Environmental Criminology

Provides a paper outlining the key theory areas of environmental criminology by originating authors; Ronald V. Clarke, Marcus Felson and Patricia and Paul Brantingham. Again, we are proud that some excellent research was done in Vancouver. There are 3 key theory areas of environmental criminology: pattern theory by the Brantinghams, routine activity theory by Marcus Felson and rational choice theory by Ronald V. Clarke.

Heirarchy of Crime Determiners

Provides a description of the heirarchy of predictors of crime and nuisance activity. This concept suggests that when considering CPTED design, the site or building must first be analyzed to establish the crime levels and types, or the ‘actual risk’ of crime. This is done by establishing the first order determiners of crime: high-risk populations and the pathways they use going from place to place as part of their routine activities. Work on First Order Determiners was done in 1981 by the Brantinghams in Vancouver.

CPTED Crime Analysis

Provides a process which incorporates crime into site analysis. The analysis is sometimes called a safety audit or risk assessment. This process has been developed based on a variety of neighbourhoods and sites in the Greater Vancouver area ranging from neighbourhood plans, rapid transit stations, mega-block developments, park designs, public realm plazas and medium density residential developments.

An outline of the analysis process is included:

      - demographic analysis

      - crime analysis

      - site analysis

      - use analysis

      - neighbourhood/user consultation, and

      - pathway analysis.

Design Principles

Provides numerous design principles beyond the traditional surveillance, territoriality, defensibility, access control and target hardening ranging from specific building features to broad design concepts. A number of examples from the Vancouver area are used. These have been developed based on experience. For example, a broad principle of the design centre is Design Principle 1, The Jane Jacobs Test:

A holistic approach toward any design solution which balances reduction of crime opportunities with other objectives in order to achieve good design and enhance the built environment. All designs that attempt to reduce opportunity for crime should be tested to ensure they also support and enhance the overall urban environment, both social and physical, through improved design and beautification.

A more specific design principle is Design Principle 24, Pedestrian Underpasses:

Pedestrian underpasses generate a lot of fear - they limit movement options, reduce visibility and increase isolation. They are often dark and poorly maintained. All of these environmental factors increase feelings of fear. The actual risk associated with the underpass follows the orders of crime determiners: if there are high risk populations in the area which may use the underpass as a pathway, then the underpass may attract actual risk of violent crime and nuisance behaviour such as graffiti and vandalism.

Wherever possible and particularly if risk of violent crime has been identified through analysis of crime determiners, then underpasses should be avoided. However, if risk may be low and an underpass must be incorporated into design to meet with other design objectives, the rule of thumb is to make the underpass as wide as it is long, incorporate other types of legitimate circulation such as bicycles and automobiles, ensure vandal proof lighting, and building materials that reduce opportunities for graffiti and proper maintenance.

Design Guidelines

Provides guidance on design for a variety of building forms - shopping centres, residential, mixed use, office, warehouse and parking garages for use with by-laws and ordinances for municipalities, provinces, county, and state regulation. Guidelines focus on both broad and specific environmental features.

For example, a broad design guideline relates to the design of pedestrians cutting through a site where risk of crime may be increased. In this case, unintended pedestrian cut-throughs should be avoided. Where a pedestrian mews or allee has been identified as a desirable feature for the neighbourhood, the design of the mews should maximize watching from surrounding uses such as residential or commercial, the surrounding uses should be designed to withstand higher levels of crime such as break and enter or burglary and the mews should remain visible from end to end.

A specific design principle relates to the design of underground parking where secure separation should be provided between different users such as residential and commercial. The location of perimeter exit stairs from underground parking is key to reducing unwanted access and opportunities for theft from vehicles.

Design Examples

Design examples and best practices of design professionals in the Greater Vancouver area. This includes parks, public plazas, walkways, and parking garages.

Origins of CPTED

Provides a paper outlining the originating authors: Jane Jacobs, Oscar Newman, and C. Ray Jeffery. The seeds of today’s CPTED were sown in the 1960’s in North America. C. Ray Jeffery’s book “Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design” in 1971, directed the field of criminology toward environmental factors. It was Jane Jacobs’ idea in the book “Death and Life of Great American Cities” that healthy cities could function and be safe starting from the small scale to the large scale: the sidewalk on the street of a block in a neighbourhood within the larger city and the social interactions that are affected by the physical layout. Her idea of “eyes on the street” is a key principle of CPTED. Oscar Newman, an architect, published “Defensible Space: Crime Prevention Through Urban Design” in 1972. Newman analysed public housing in New York and proposed environmental design concepts to prevent crime: surveillance, territoriality, defensibility, maintenance and milieu.

Literature References

Provides a list of literature references made on this website and is useful for academic literature review.

Projects and Consulting Services

Information on projects undertaken by the Design Centre For Environmental Design Vancouver: riverfront park, traffic diversions, neighbourhood studies, rapid transit studies, graffiti pathway study, and underground parking.

Training and Courses

Provides current and past courses given by the Design Centre for Environmental Design Vancouver. Training for design professionals: architects, landscape architects, city planners and engineers. Training for CPTED practitioners, police, and security professionals.

Common Misspellings

Often misspelled according to the pronunciation; Septed, Ceptd or Cepted

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