Printer Friendly

Environmental design at work.

CRIME PREVENTION PRACTITIONERS and security managers have long been studying building space after criminal activities or accidents have been detected. Crimes such as vandalism, burglary, robbery, rape, and car crimes maintenance of law and belief in the possibility of its enforcement," Newman writes.(3) At the same time, expansion of a person's territory encourages use of semiprivate and semipublic space, which in turn discourages people who are looking for the privacy necessary to accomplish antisocial acts.

Crowe divides users of space into three categories: * normal users-persons you desire to be in certain spaces * abnormal users-persons you do not desire to be in that space * observers-persons who have to be in that space to support the human function(4)

Crowe further states, "What makes the normal user feel safe makes the other feel at risk of detection. What makes the normal user feel unsafe makes the abnormal user feel at low risk of detection.(5)

When designing space, therefore, expanding the normal user's feeling of territoriality as well as maximizing cues that tell normal users and observers they are safe should be a priority.

Newman adds that design should maximize natural surveillance possibilities within the built environment. He points out that the proper placement of buildings increases opportunities for natural surveillance. He states, "A project with buildings facing and close to a street, with lobbies visible to passersby, is decidedly less likely to experience as much crime as one where these factors do not interplay."(6)

This opens up the controversial subject of privacy. What is it and where does safety overshadow the need for privacy? Certain types of privacy actually add to the potential for victimization. Obviously, if the victim cannot be seen, the offender cannot be seen either. So, design should strike a balance between absolute privacy and the individual's security needs.

One concern regarding design involves the process of designing one building, then duplicating it in different parts of the country. A recent study on convenience store robberies in Florida supports the fact that design must take location into account.

The study states, "The research model utilized within this study may only be appropriate for use at the district level or below. The diversity of environmental factors within the state of Florida may preclude application on a statewide basis."(7) Therefore, local information must be taken into account when deciding the nature of the final design. What would work in Los Angeles may not in Seattle. What works in one area of a city may not work even in another area of the same city.

Certain types of commercial construction hide not only a person but also a motor vehicle. With motor vehicle-related crimes on the increase, this trend could have diminishing returns. In addition, hiding the motor vehicle often provides additional risk of other crimes, such as rape and robbery, against those using parking areas. These serious trends need attention by developers, architects, building managers, engineers, planners, and crime and loss prevention practitioners.

Crowe also discusses natural access control. "Access control," he explains, "is a design concept directed primarily at decreasing crime opportunity. Access control strategies are typically classified as organized (e.g., guards), mechanical (e.g., locks), and natural (e.g., spatial definition). The primary thrust of an access control strategy is to deny access to a crime (1) C. R. Jefferey, Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (Beverly Hills, CA: Sage Publications, 1971). (2) Timothy D. Crowe, "An Ounce of Prevention: A New Role for Law Enforcement," FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin, October 1988, p. 19. (3) Oscar Newman, Defensible Space: Crime Prevention Through Urban Design (New York: Collier Books, MacMillan Publishing Company, 1973), p. 51. (4) Timothy D. Crowe, "Clean, Well-Lighted Spaces: A Natural Approach To Retail Security," National Crime Prevention Institute, University of Louisville, February 1988, p. 5. (5) Crowe, " Clean, Well-Lighted Spaces: A Natural Approach To Retail Security." (6) Newman, p. 83. (7) Ronald David Hunter, PhD, The Effects of Environmental Factors Upon Convenience Store Robbery, in Florida, Bureau of Crime Prevention and Training, Office of the Attorney General of Florida, 1988, p. 197. target and to create a perception of risk in offenders."(8)

"More recent approaches to physical design of environments," Crowe continues, "have shifted the emphasis to natural opportunities presented by the environment for crime prevention."(9) This is done by using lighting, landscaping, signage, placement of amenities, fencing, or any combinations thereof.

A good example of this was the result of a problem encountered by a university. A portion of its campus consisted of a large, open, grassy area that had concrete sidewalks meeting at various angles. Unfortunately, students often cut the comers where the sidewalks came together, killing the grass.

Concrete benches were placed close to where the sidewalks crossed, and the problem was solved. The benches acted as a barrier to cutting the comers. Since fewer people chose to cut the comers, the problem ceased and the grass grew back.

Vehicular traffic patterns through areas can encourage or discourage territorial behavior in people in the area. One-way streets move people faster than other streets and can discourage people who want to slow down or stop. (8) Timothy D. Crowe, "CPTED: A Basic Training Manual, " Unpublished manuscript, 198 1, p. 6. (9) Crowe, "CPTED: A Basic Training Manual."

Improper street widening near residential neighborhoods, often because of business park and shopping mall development, can cause increased traffic flow through the neighborhood, causing residents to retreat to the rear of their homes, relinquishing the street to abnormal users.

In Neighborhood Design and Crime: A Test of Two Perspectives, Stephanie W. Greenburg and William M. Rohe say, "The findings also suggest that street widenings and other changes that would increase the through traffic in an area should be avoided when possible. Furthermore, in neighborhoods where through traffic exists and crime rates are high, the use of traffic diverters and other transportation system management strategies to divert traffic may help to lower the crime rates."(10

Through traffic in some areas encourages activities such as drug dealing, prostitution, vandalism, and cruising. Often the only recourse once such activity has begun is to funnel traffic away from the area, block off streets, employ police or security officers, or restrict parking and loitering.

If the architect knows ahead of time that these activites could occur, he or she can design in restrictive traffic patterns, which can change at different times of the day, week, or month, or design in traffic outlets that are only used in emergencies or for unpredictably high volumes of vehicular activity.

C. Ray Jefferey supports the opportunity and target model of CPTED, which is similar to the traditional target-hardening approach in many respects. In Understanding Crime Prevention, the NCPI explains, "C. Ray Jefferey proposed a three-fold strategy involving not only physical design but also increased citizen participation and the more effective use of police forces. He contended that the way to prevent crime is to design the total environment in such a manner that the opportunity for crime is reduced or eliminated."(11)

CPTED encourages the designer to construct a building for the maximum use of those who occupy it. In addition, the designer must take into consideration the time the building is not in use. (10) Stephanie W. Greenburg and William M. Rohe, "Neighborhood Design and Crime: A Test of Two Perspectives, " American Psychiatric Association Journal, Winter 1984, p. 59. (11) NCPI staff, Understanding Crime Prevention Stoneham, MA: Butterworth Publishers, 1986), p. 120.

If a building is efficient during the time it is used and offers maximum natural surveillance opportunities when not in use, it will be a less attractive target. A COMPLEX IN BELLEVUE, WA, HAS BEEN designed using CPTED principles. Bellevue Place is a multiuse, high-rise facility. The complex has a 24-story hotel and two mixed-use buildings adjacent to it. One is a high-rise bank complex with retail shops and restaurants on the first two floors and offices on the remaining 19 floors. The other is a mid-rise building occupied by shops, a health club, and offices.

Early in the planning process, Security Manager Clark Rice, CPP, of Kemper Development, which is the owner of the project, had influence on Bellevue Place's design. He also received input from Lieutenant Robert Wuorenma, CPP, of the Bellevue police department's Crime Prevention Unit.

The perimeter of the complex has good border definition. Color and texture changes in the driveway and sidewalk notify individuals they are moving from public to semipublic or semiprivate space. Two sides of the complex have heavy columns, which could cause people to feel unsafe because of their sheer mass. However, because of the amount of window space and the height of the overhang, the area is brightly lit and therefore doesn't give a tunnel effect.

The three buildings form a triangle, with windows that provide visibility from all sides. Because the buildings are independent, plenty of light is available during the day, and the inner areas are well lit at night.

Between the buildings is a sidewalk cafe that doubles as an amphitheater during the summer. This cafe uses movable, lattice-type, low fencing to define the eating area. Temporary tables and chairs are also used for changing the design to fit the needs of every occasion. This area's flexibility encourages maximum effective use.

The area is surrounded by the driveway used by hotel patrons. Since the driveway surface is brick and the walkway is composed of black-and-white concrete squares, it notifies people passing from the street to the driveway that they are definitely moving from a public to a private space.

Decorative, lighted, concrete bollards identify areas where vehicles are not allowed, and a change in texture from the brick to the checkerboard concrete subtly identifies pedestrian crossings.

On one side of the bank building is a parking lot at street level, which allows natural surveillance from both building offices and passing traffic. A raised lawn area offers a park-like setting for casual lunches or breaks. During the summer months it is complete with croquet wickets. The lawn area is blocked from street view, but a good view from the L-shaped area of the bank building is available. It is also well lit and monitored by security personnel 24 hours a day with the help of a CCTV camera.

The north side of the building is the only side with a natural surveillance problem because of a line of trees on the adjacent property. This side eventually will be tied into the next project, a performing arts center.

Security officers, lighting, locks, cameras, and alarms ensure the security of those using this side of the complex. Emergency access, emergency parking, and an area for cabs waiting for fares are also located here.

The north side of the building also demonstrates another CPTED concept-moving safe activities to unsafe places. By using this area of the complex, normal users encourage abnormal users to move to a less active location.

Just inside the door of this side of the complex is the Wintergarden area. It provides a large, open area, accommodating receptions, displays, and other events. It is complete with elevators, escalators, a cash machine, and a glass rotunda.

Since the north wall of the Wintergarden is mostly glass, as is the rotunda, natural lighting is abundant during the day. This area is surrounded on two levels by restaurants and other food vendors, as well as tables and chairs from the various eating establishments. The balcony area provides natural surveillance of the restaurants on the ground level.

The Wintergarden is equipped with low, lattice-type, temporary fencing that can be used to channel people for different events. In addition, the large, movable pots that house decorative plants and trees provide even more natural channeling without giving visitors the impression that their movement is regulated. Also, the open environment makes people feel more at ease.

The three buildings of Bellevue Place are all served by a common underground parking garage. It has two entrances off public streets two blocks from each other. The garage is staffed 24 hours a day by attendants and is well lit not only on the driveways but also in the parking areas.

The delivery area has a long, wide entrance from the street on the east side of the complex. It has been designed with a ceiling high enough and area wide enough to allow entry of the large vehicles needing access and maneuvering space.

Although this area contains trash bins, it is clean and well lit. The white walls reflect the light, brightening the area. This is for safety as well as security. Trash compactors are located behind locked rolling doors, which restrict unauthorized access to businesses at night and other times when the building is not occupied. The box compactor is in the open but policed regularly.

Two entries provide access into the underground parking lot from the delivery area. One is an overload exit from the garage and, as such, is controlled by a gate and roll-down door. The other is blocked to vehicular traffic by heavy posts but allows delivery access via hand trucks. The paths to various buildings within the complex are color-coded to lead delivery people quickly to their destinations.

The parking garage also brings safe activities into previously less safe areas by offering an auto-detailing shop. Also, a small post office box area in one corner of the garage is enclosed yet brightly lit. The door and large windows in one wall keep the area open to view.

The elevators are well marked on each level and allow maximum visibility to people using them, especially those exiting to the garage. The well-marked stations on each level provide persons direct communication with the security dispatch center in case of emergency.

The security area has also used CPTED principles to mark its territory. Midway up the outside wall leading into the security area is a black line about 10 inches wide. This line runs the length of one wall, around the corner, and down the length of the next wall. On the line is clearly marked the word "SECURITY." Before this external notification, some vandalism occurred in the hallway. Adding the line signaled the ownership of the hallway; no further problems have occurred.

The frosting on the cake is the high-tech security command center and a well-trained security staff. A status board in the command center makes security personnel aware at a glance what special events, activities, and maintenance events are scheduled. The command center also monitors cameras throughout the complex and the fire and security alarms using a computer-based system.

Bellevue Place certainly exemplifies the CPTED concept as outlined by what Crowe calls the three D's of good design. These are: * "Designation-What is the designated purpose of the space? How was it originally intended to be used? How well does the space support its current use and its intended use? Is there conflict? * Definition-How is the space defined? Is it clear who owns the space? Where are its borders? Do social or (13) Timothy D. Crowe, "Designing Safer Schools," School Safetx,, Fall 1990, p. 10. (12) Crowe, "Designing Safer Schools," p. 12. (13) Crowe, "Designing Safer Schools," p. 12. cultural definitions affect how the space is used? Are the legal or administrative rules for use of the space clearly set out and reinforced in policy? Is the space marked by signs? Does conflict or confusion exist between the purpose and definition of the area? * Design - How well does the physical design support the intended function of the space and the type of behavior desired to occur there? Does the physical design conflict with or impede the productive use of the space or the proper functioning of the intended human activity? Does confusion or conflict exist over the manner in which the physical design is intended to control behavior?"(12)

Many serious security problems can occur if architects do not get their D's straight when they design or remodel a complex. "The CPTED planner," continues Crowe, "must ask questions such as: What are you trying to accomplish and how can we help you do it better? A successful application of these concepts follows this order of priorities:

1. How the design and use of physical space

2. affects human decisions and behavior, leading to

3. improved productivity and profit with

4. the by-product of loss prevention and reduction. "(13)

Obviously, the designers and architects involved in Bellevue Place had their D's straight. Bellevue Place is a safe place for people to carry on business and enjoy themselves. This is primarily due to good design and a positive attitude toward security.

If properly used, CPFED principles can allow a more open type of security than heavy-duty target hardening. Its definition itself speaks for this openness. "The proper design and effective use of the built environment," says Crowe, "can lead to a reduction in the incidence and fear of crime - and to an increase in the quality of life."(14) About the Authors . . . Alex E. Ward, CPP, is a commercial crime prevention detective in the Bellevue, WA, police department. He teaches at Bellevue Community College and is the president-elect of the International Society of Crime Prevention Practitioners. William B. Brooks is assistant security director for Bellevue Place. Prior to this position he was in law enforcement for 15 years in Washington and Oregon. Both are members of ASIS.
COPYRIGHT 1991 American Society for Industrial Security
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1991 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:crime prevention through environmental design
Author:Ward, Alex E.; Brooks, William B.
Publication:Security Management
Date:Mar 1, 1991
Words:2895
Previous Article:Security up front.
Next Article:A high-rise solution.
Topics:


Related Articles
Case your space.
Safer schools by design.
Success across America.
The secure store: a clean, well-lighted place.
The Mesa Crime-Free Multi-Housing Program.
How Can Security Help the Community?
CPTED still the exception.
PUBLIC SERVANT FINDS CALLING IN CRIME PREVENTION.

Terms of use | Copyright © 2016 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters