CPTED: Crime Prevention through Environmental Design
This is an internationally recognised approach to landscaping. Although there is no universal or prescriptive method for designing out crime, the approach takes into account the fact that the way that landscapes are spatially formed and detailed can have a serious impact on their real and perceived safety. CPTED generally includes five key principles:
- Natural Surveillance: ‘See and be seen’ is the overall goal. A person is less likely to commit a crime if they think someone will see them do it. People also tend to feel safer in environments where they can see potential criminals approaching, and where any crime committed against them may be witnessed by others.
- Access Control: Walkways, fences, lighting, signage and landscape are used to clearly guide people and vehciles to and from the proper entrances. The goal is not necessarily to keep intruders out, but to direct the flow of people while decreasing the opportunity for crime.
- Territorial Reinforcement: Creating or extending a ‘sphere of influence’ by utilising physical designs such as pavement treatments, landscaping and signage that enable users to develop a sense of proprietorship over it: Public areas are clearly distinguished from private ones. Potential trespassers perceive this control and are thereby discouraged.
- Target Hardening: The installation of physical barriers, camera surveillance systems and other hard security measures to prevent or provide early detection and response to criminal activity. This is the ultimate crime prevention and management measure, and may create a sense of fear and insecurity to users.
- Management and Maintenance: The ‘Broken Window Theory’ suggests that one ‘broken window’, if allowed to exist, will lead to others and ultimately to the decline of an entire neighbourhood. Neglected and poorly maintained properties are breeding grounds for criminal activity.
These principles can be applies at any scale, from an individual household garden to an entire neighbourhood, city block or park.
Text Taken from: “Green Landscaping Guideline“. Part of the Greening Durban 2012 series published by the Environmental Planning and Climate Protection Department of Ethekwini Municipality